3 of 3 thought this review was well written
In recent years, especially in the world of rock, the term "underrated" can be applied too easily to a musical group: perhaps the group only releases an album once in a blue moon, or perhaps none of the group’s songs have been high-charting singles, or perhaps the group heavily challenges mainstream convention so that there’s no room for casual listeners. Regardless, it’s become far too loose a term nowadays, and not to mention frequent, which ironically, makes the term a little overrated. But that’s not important. What is important, however, is a band called Swervedriver and their greatest yet unknown album. In terms of British rock music, especially in the 1990’s during the Britpop era, Swervedriver are definitely one of the best, well-hidden secrets. After this album was released in 1995, Swervedriver were subsequently dropped from their label a mere week after, which resulted in little or no promotion for this wonderful album. Although it’s 17 years later, it’s hopefully not too late to spread the word for greater potential Swervedriver recognition.
The cinematic ‘Single Finger Salute’, reminiscent of a 1960's Spaghetti Western film, is a fantastic first track; opening the passage for the badass highlight 'Bring Me the Head of the Fortune Teller', which sounds like a more fantastic and less technology-dependent Kasabian, also showcasing a slightly bluesy influence. Another influence detected is the fresh and poppy 'How Does It Feel to Look like Candy' that sounds like the band’s rendition of a California dream song. Hell, they even sound a little like old-school Weezer on the catchy and concise 'The Other Jesus', albeit with their guitar effects left, right and centre.
There may be a little less crunch here than on their previous two records, but this is by no means a disadvantage, as songs like 'Son of Jaguar E' and 'Bubbling Up' offer up a mellow alternative, the former in a trippy way and the latter in a more atmospheric way. Other enjoyable songs like the musically tight 'The Birds' and the slightly ridiculous 'I Am Superman' also contribute towards the record’s gathering momentum but it's the penultimate track 'Last Day on Earth' that steals the prize as the best song on the record. It’s jumping guitars, straightforward vocals and lush string section, although not dissimilar to Oasis, is a simply brilliantly written piece of music which only increases the tragic fact that not many have had the opportunity and, more importantly, the pleasure of hearing it.
If you’re attracted towards slightly-alternative rock or British rock or 90’s rock or anything in between, then give these guys a listen. It may perhaps be a little less guitar driven or Shoegaze-esque than their previous two albums ‘Raise’ and ‘Mezcal Head’, which are also definitely worth checking out, but this record is ultimately more rewarding and offers more variety and further reveals what this band can accomplish. Until now, it’s highly likely that this album has not appeared on your musical radar; so to rectify the situation, what you can do is gaze gleefully into the sky, grab your headphones and delve head first into Planet Swervedriver.