I don’t remember when, but I’m sure that the first time I heard Swervedriver was on Side B with Reverend Massari through the video for “Last train to satansville”, to this day my favorite from the band of the then dread-man Adam Franklin and cia. and since then the soundtrack of life.
As I did with so many bands that I discovered at the time, I wrote down the guys’ capybara in a notebook that I used especially for that and then I went looking for information and, who knows, a recorded album or cassette (yes, young people, the stuff was crazy before from Internet). I managed to get a tape of the album from someone that contained the song that introduced me to the Swervies and I knew that Mezcal head it was their second album and, as I had already attested with Train to Satan’s Village, they were not shoegaze, grunge, or anything easily labelable. They were absolutely original and incredible. End.
Then I went after the previous album, Rise, and I realized that if I had discovered them with him, they might not have resonated with me as they did with his successor. Then slowly and steadily – as things happened 30 years ago – the information arrived; I learned that there were changes in the band’s kitchen between one album and another, that Alan Moulder – the guy who had already worked with friends like Ride, My Bloody Valentine, The Clean e Jesusto name a few – had produced Mezcal and that there, at that cornerstone moment, Swervedriver developed their formula in which gazer distortions, psychedelic trances, guitar riffs and a melodic/harmonic tone (unusual among many of their contemporaries and/or counterparts) are melted and molded into songs like “ Duel”, “Harry & Meggie”, “Never lose that feeling” (damn!!!) and, of course, “Last train to satansville”.
To sum up the opera, Mezcal head – which reached three decades yesterday – is composed of a set of magical songs that are at the same time intoxicating and energetic, fuel and soundtrack for road trips like that. I believe this is the best definition for what Swervedriver created in 1993: road rock.
Of life! For the entire life! ❤
PS: On Louder there is a 2018 interview with Mr Franklin talking about the creation of Mezcal.