Seventeen years between albums isn’t normal, though it makes sense when you see the world that Swervedriver inhabited in the nineties. Multiple labels and the core of the music industry didn’t seem ready for the wave of shoegaze bands that made their way into the states from across the pond. With their latest album Future Ruins sounding much like their guitar driven sound from twenty years ago, their second since returning to performing has the band back where they left off.
In today’s indie rock driven world, guitars leading the space isn’t abnormal, though that’snot to say that Swervedriver doesn’t still stand out. The way the guitars sound like bodies being swung above a cliff embankment on the opener “Mary Winter” should entice long time fans as well as those who are unfamiliar with the band. Those twangy and swirling sounds fall all over the ten track release. The biggest difference between this era and the one when the band began is balance.
There’s a heavy mixture of soft versus powerful that traces out how the album plays. Sometimes it’s a particular song like “The Lonely Crowd Fades” or “Theascending” that you notice it on, though it’s all over the record. It makes what these guys have done since their inception stand out to a greater degree. The way the gentle notes of “Future Ruins” plays, or the heavy handed guitar of “Good Times Are So Hard To Follow” are met with tracks like “Everybody’s Going Somewhere & No-One’s Going Anywhere” or “Radio-Silent” feels about right for this release. It never feels foreign but rather where this album should go. The biggest standout is the track “Spiked Flower” where the hefty guitars and a gentle melody meet in the middle to build a catchy track that you can’t seem to not place on repeat. Swervedriver is just doing what they’ve always done, letting the guitars do most of the talking. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
You can stream Future Ruins on all streaming sites, you can pick it up digitally from all digital shops, or you can grab it physically from dangerbird Records. Swervedriver will be on tour beginning on March 13 in Dallas, TX at House of Blues, in Houston at Warehouse Live on March 14, and in Austin at SXSW March 15 at Barracuda. Their tour resumes on March 16 in New Orleans, LA at LA Republic until April 24 at The Fonda in Los Angeles, CA. A complete list of their tour dates can be found here.
Image Credits: Photo by Steve Gullick.