Review Summary: The sun hasn't set on Swervedriver quite yet.
Swervedriver are a shoegaze band that never lets themselves get too lost in their own feet to miss out on the beauty of what’s in front of them. In their age they’ve become extremely self-aware, knowledgeable of their shortcomings and strengths and not afraid to tell you how they really feel. It’s an advantage they’ve had since inception, over 20 years ago, over their peers that keeps them separated and untethered from shoegaze expectations. While others hide behind their walls of sound and reverb, Swervedriver embrace the noise, emoting with an extroverted fever that, quite frankly, rocks. Now with I Wasn’t Born to Lose You
, they return to the party sounding all the more modern and distinct as ever, keeping ahead of the curve and remaining just as confident. It’s in the way that Swervedriver’s guitars veer in and out of each other, either exploding in fuzz or clean plucked, that demonstrates the uniqueness of a band not afraid of playing music for summer sunsets when the era for such sounds may have long past it by.
Where My Bloody Valentine would lose the melody, cover it up and beat it down with various walls of sound, Swervedriver set it on a pedestal. “Setting Sun” exemplifies the music’s up front and daring nature, letting the rest of the noise fall as a backdrop to the pristine guitarwork, building it as a focal point rather than an underscore. On album opener “Autodidact”, they even further separate themselves, grunging out hard and coarsely laying out a sing-a-long of sorts that contradicts everything that you’d expect from a shoegaze artist. That is until you hear the echoing explosions of distorted guitar bouncing around each other, carrying a summer evenings’ warmth among it. They pull you in with the accessibility of 90’s alternative but keep you sticking around for the sun-licked caress of their sound. Swervedriver don’t try to reinvent the wheel on I Wasn’t Born to Lose You
, but rather remain true to their own musical identity while expanding their sonic palette and continuing to reimagine what reverb-soaked sounds can accomplish when framed in the right light. In this case, the bright oranges and yellows of a setting sun.