Album Review: Swervedriver – Future Ruins

Sunday 20th, January 2019 / 08:00
By Keir Nicoll

Swervedriver Future Ruins
Dangerbird Records

Swervedriver have been making edgy sound waves for decades, but until just a few years ago had almost disappeared completely. When they released I Wasn’t Born To Lose You (2015), things started picking up and their legendary, mythical proportions started returning to people’s minds as the band started touring again. Now they have another, Future-Ruins, which, as the dystopian title suggests, leads the listener on a journey into a place and time of disjuncture and dark fates. Though in the first song, “Mary Winter,” Adam Franklin sings, “I’m never comin’ back,” it seems they have. They have traded some of their heaviness for more modern, spectacular architectures of instrumentals. They continue to amaze with their usual complex arpeggios, bended notes and shimmering guitar strains. Swervedriver have always talked or sung about “space-travel” and in this song, he sings, “My feet won’t touch the ground.” In “The Lonely Crowd Fades In The Air,” Franklin sings, “so we stumble into the end of days/where the future comes to cry/so choose your colors wisely/’cause things ain’t the same as in times gone by.”

Their undulating and circular vocal and instrumental lines are reminiscent of a surrealist’s film mis-en-scene. They do continue to sing about rocket fuel and an engine, which follows the propulsive force of their earlier efforts, like Raise and Medical Head. Their music has mellowed from the force of its sound in the ’90s, so those looking to take in the new sound should expect something with more dreamy complexity, than razor-edged and honed wit and darkness.


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