Swervedriver - I Wasn't Born To Lose You
Awkwardly horned into the original shoegaze wave, Swervedriver shared a sonic palette with other scene acts but were propelled by a more traditional rock engine than most. The four albums they produced between 1991 to 1998 saw them find a bigger audience in America than at home, and tours with the likes of Soundgarden, Smashing Pumpkins and The Dandy Warhols were a good fit for a band whose music was built for wide open spaces and cross country adventures at the wheel of a Buick or Cadillac.
A re-union in 2008 led to intermittent live appearances, but I Wasn't Born To Lose You is the first real statement that they are something more than a nostalgia act. Time has been fairly good to the Swervedriver format; all the constituent parts - especially Adam Franklin's laconic vocals and the blend of chiming (often pretty) guitars atop more typical shoegaze textures - remain in place. With distance, it's easy to see the influence of Dinosaur Jnr and Sonic Youth, albeit with none of the more outre guitar flights of either. As such, there's a tendency for I Wasn't Born ... to blur in on itself, with no individual track daring to stick a head above the parapet and announce itself, although 'Red Queen Arms Race' channels more of desert rock, stoner vibe, offering a brief pitstop from the sameness elsewhere. Long term fans will be pleased to have them back, but the lack of obvious standouts is a weakness.