Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Rave Down

It's a bit of a '90s thing going this week...
Swervedriver - an early '90s British rock band that sat squarely on the fence between the two prominent musical styles of the day - the grunge-y alternative rock that was ruling the US airwaves on one side and the wall-of-guitar riffs of the British shoegazers on the other. The music press called them the UK answer to the US grunge bands. They released their records on UK label of legend Creation Records (their friends in Ride - also on Creation - gave label boss Alan McGee their demo) and shared a producer (Anjali Dutt) with labelmates The Boo Radleys. The first Swervedriver tune I ever heard was their second single, 1990's Rave Down. The premise is simple - to pound you with a mighty rock riff and a driving beat, both of which are big, and to sing about getting away from dull, small town existence. I love the intensity of this tune - so many delicious layers of melodic metal riffage and such pummeling drums. A great track that still sounds pretty good to my ears today. Over the next few years they carried on, lost members and record deals (due to the rise of Britpop) until finally calling it quits in 1999.

"Rave down Rave down Rave down Rave down, hit the ground Before the pistol crack spins me out sideways Like the sharp eyed hit of a car crash in a dream Those kids on the corner wanna Beat-box my brains to bits You can't cut creed clean Things ain't black and white like they seem Rave down, hit the ground 4 AM on our hell gas station Before we cruise off to the beach Where the breeze flows easy and slow We hung tight all night And no gig to go to There could be something happenin' here But there's just no place to go Your town ain't liven' up no more Rave Down Deep hot sun burns through the city Yeah, they're havin' to peel the pedestrians off the walls Ex-cop 'round the block Rockin' chair, suckin' beer He blasts flies with his gun Because swatting's no fun Your town ain't happenin' up no more Rave down Rave Rave down, hit the ground."

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