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).