The Austin Chronicle

Never Lose That Feeling

By Audra Schroeder, June 4, 2008, 12:37pm, Earache!

Swervedriver is one of those bands. You rarely hear someone say a band sounds "like Swervedriver" or is "Swervedriveresque" the way they do with, say, their former labelmates My Bloody Valentine. But last night people came out of the woodwork and into Emo’s for the seminal Brit group's first tour in ten years, yelling songs to the band, playing air drums, raising fists. It is partly a matter of nostalgia: MBV are inevitably going to do a North American tour; there's an upcoming Polvo reunion; the Breeders just ran through town; Sebadoh and Dinosaur Jr. were here last year. The time is nigh for a full-frontal early 1990s flashback.

Touring the original mid-1990s lineup, the quartet walked onstage and started playing, no introductions, no banter. No matter. For an hour or so they put up an impressive wall of sound, and when they launched into the punk-throttle of “Last Train to Satansville,” off 1993's Mezcal Head, the air drummer next to me levitated halfway off the ground and everyone started moving as if they were walking barefoot on hot asphalt. They touched on all four albums, from 1991's Raise in the early part of the set ("Sandblasted") to the simmering psych-out "99th Dream," from their final 1997 album of the same name. Singer/guitarist Adam Franklin’s voice is still smooth and the music still has muscle; there was no pretension or awkwardness, just pure volume.

The crowd dissipated during the encore, and understandably so – after a while, Swervedriver's songs started to blend together. However, now that the body's been revived, can a new album be far behind?

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