Formed in Oxford in 1989, shoegazers Swervedriver consisted of founder members Adam Franklin and Jim Hartridge who combined energetic, guitar driven melodies with heartfelt songwriting reminiscent of some of their contemporaries from the time such as Dinosaur Jr or Sonic Youth. ‘I Wasn’t Born To Lose You’ is their fifth studio album as well as their first new album in seventeen years.
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Swervedriver were always one of those bands that never quite fit into the demographic of the multitudes of '90s musical genres: too rock to be indie, too indie to get the rock kids headbanging along. To me though, that constant fence sitting is what has made their music sound so timeless. It is true that you can't help but throw those typical shoegaze comparisons at them with all their whammy barred effects pedal stomping; previous albums like their incredible debut 'Raise' and pre-grunge follow up 'Mezcal Head' were full of rose tinted MBV sheen but charged with an american college rock attitude that bands like Dinosaur Jr., Pavement and Sonic Youth were touting back in the early nineties. Now returned with fresh vigour and older and wiser since their last record '99th Dream' a mere 17 years ago, 'I Wasn't Born To Lose' seems to slot in perfectly with the ever-changing world of indie rock -- and especially the second wave of shoegaze that's taking the underground music world by storm at the moment.
All the old Swervies magic is still there in glorious technicolor: Adam Franklin's slacker vocal style still melts like chocolate amongst Jimmy Hartridge's complex but effortlessly melodic guitar tones; there are moments of old here with 'Last Rites' sounding like a lost B-side to 'Never Lose That Feeling', and 'Everso' is like 'Planes Over The Skyline' with added Beach Boys vocal harmonies. 'Red Queen Arms Race', however, is Swervedriver with a more bluesy Led Zeppelin vibe that would sound great blasting out a soft top chevy in the burning Mojave desert heat. Last years single "Deep Wound' has to be the stand out moment for me though with a melody that jams it's way into your heart just like 'Son Of Mustang Ford' did all those years ago and immediately makes me want to dust down my old guitar and start a band, It's safe to say that Swervedriver are well and truly back to "drive" their way back into your lives again and have made this old indie kid a very happy man.
10/10 Craig Hurst Customer review, 13th December 2015
I think i have to agree with my old chum Ian on this album.....
Yes.... it's Swervedriver, yes it rocks.
Not up there with the classics but still very relevant.
Shoegaze again is taking the underground music world by storm as Ian says & it's still awesome stuff after 25 years or so
and Swervedriver are riding high as always.
Saw them live earlier this year playing the new tunes & the classics....... Fantastic gig.
Deep Wound & Autodidact are my personal faves from the new album.
It's Brilliant to see bands like Swervedriver back again. (also Ride, Slowdive & Lush)
Who's gonna be next to reform????
8/10 Jonny Chinchen Customer review, 1st April 2015
The above review pretty much nails it - just to emphasise that this is a real grower, or should I say glower (sorry). It doesn't burn with the intensity of "Raise", most folks' fave Swervies LP, but it is a warmer and lusher ride, a delicious mellow burn. With every listen you notice some other little melody line or nice interplay between the two guitarists, whose lines weave around each other hypnotically.
There's not really any innovation to the Swervedriver sound or feel of old, it's still all about cars, deserts and daydreaming, but where their earlier LP's were more heat and flash, this feels like a spectacular evening ride, golden sunlight and dusty horizon unfurling from the speakers.
I didn't expect to love this as much as I do, it really sits on a par with their other efforts, a great achievement after all this time!
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