Musical Mnemonics 1: Swervedriver

Every now and again I will be going about my day and something quite randomly will trigger a musical memory. Suddenly a song I haven’t heard in years is playing on cerebral repeat. These are usually songs I loved, songs that got me through my adolescence, tweens and teens, through my twenties, songs that brought me somewhere, somehow, to where I stand today. They have inadvertently informed my being, by their own tiny methods, and I can’t ignore their long-term effects. So I’ve decided to start an occasional series where I re-visit a song I haven’t heard in years, give it a re-listen and see how it has fared.

One band I enjoyed immensely before the turn of the century was Swervedriver. For a while in the mid-nineties, they were hands down my favourite band. Even just reading their discography is bringing back some major memories: The Bifteck, Lucky Lagers, general Plateau life magically negating whatever I was learning at school. Now I feel like I’ve forgotten everything about Swervedriver (and, by proxy, university), even though this song often pops into my head:

It totally is not their best song. That would likely be something from Mezcal Head like Last Train to Satansville. If I was to be thorough or at all a completionist I’d go back and listen to their catalogue. Sadly, I lost the majority of my CD collection a decade ago in a post-breakup custody battle. Actually, it wasn’t a battle at all. I just couldn’t be bothered to go through the collection of hundreds of CDs to haggle over whose were whose. So in an act of utter laziness, I gave up all my music and never looked back, never tried to rebuild, and now have decided randomly to start a series of blog posts based on albums no longer in my posession – physically, digitally or otherwise.

This is totally pathetic, I know. But I don’t care. This “internet” place is where us pathetic types go to flourish.

Cultural Timeliness, FAIL or WIN? I give Swervedriver a total WIN! Except for the lead singer’s Counting-Crows-style hair. I never liked it then and I still don’t approve. But he is forgiven, since their major label fuckdown as recounted by Wikipedia is heart-wrenching. Who drops a band after one week? Darsh. I never got into the post/side-projects. Back in the day I gave the Toshack Highway album (the one with the orange cover, self-titled, I believe) a chance, but wasn’t digging on it so just…moved on…

P.S. Darsh = Dark + Harsh. Remember you heard it here first (though I’m pretty sure it is a Liam O’Neil joint).

2 Replies to “Musical Mnemonics 1: Swervedriver”

  1. This is cool…Swervedriver are one of my all time favorites, and I love The Dears too. Sorry if I sound like a fanboy…

    Check out Adam Franklin’s latest solo work, I think you’d dig it. (Don’t worry, the dreads are long gone.)

    The albums have been reissued and Swervedriver has been playing occasionally since 2008. They still kick ass live.

  2. Wow…thanks for bringing them up. Mezcal Head happens to be the most complete album I’ve ever heard…all the songs seem to work with each other. Ahh back to the mid nineties in my head…

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