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Swervedriver fans lap up fresh tunes this week, as the British rock vets unleash their fifth full length ‘I Wasn’t Born To Lose You’ (stream via NPR). The release begins a March long USA tour (including a stop at SXSW) before hitting the UK this May. The LP is a big deal for the band, their first since ’99th Dream’ in 1998. It’s also the culmination of work that began with their 2008 reunion tour, and a clear indication that it wasn’t just a nostalgia trip but a continuing work in progress. And thankfully, ‘I Wasn’t Born To Lose You’ delivers.

Much of the music press has been quick to draw comparisons between Swervedriver and the renaissance of Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine and Ride. It’s understandable, but an awkward fit, just like the shoegaze label they landed when signing to Creation. Early on there were just as many musical similarities to the punk acts that influenced their youth (like The Stooges, The Ramones or MC5). But you are the company you keep, and whatever the term used, it’s loud guitar music either way! Lead single ‘Deep Wound’ arrived back in 2013, and hinted that perhaps the band were ready to revisit the early rockin’ days of 91’s ‘Raise’. It’s a brilliant fuzz filled tune, that sounds like it always existed but just showed up!

However, the reality is that ‘I Wasn’t Born To Lose You’ is more of an extension of ’99th Dream’ than a revival of ‘Mezcal Head’. While it doesn’t have the same raw intensity, it’s the next creative step for the band. And as far as songwriting goes, Swervedriver have more to give. The slow burning mid tempo track ‘Autodidact’ opens the record, there’s so much to this song, it takes a few listens to absorb it’s brilliance. It leads into the sunny ‘Last Rites’, a tune that could win over Dinosaur Jr. fans and a reminder of how effortlessly melodic Swervedriver are.

Despite the hiatus, they haven’t been idle creatively (as individuals). Their song writing and tastes have matured, and as a result we have gems like ‘Setting Sun’ and ‘Red Queen Arms Race’. The latter is armed with bluesy rock riffs and an overblown chorus. Closing track ‘I Wonder’ descends into experimental noise and will no doubt sound amazing on tour. Overall, there’s enough strong songs to please existing fans, the album touches on the Swervedriver of old without sacrificing where they’re at in 2015. What more could you want? Pick up ‘I Wasn’t Born To Lose You’ via Amazon UK or Insound (there’s also red, orange and purple vinyl available).

Visit Swervedriver online @ Amazon UK @ Facebook.

Swervedriver - 'I Wasn't Born To Lose You'
  • A fitting return for the vets!
  • A mix of old and new
  • Some fans will miss the hard edges
3.8Overall Score
Reader Rating: (11 Votes)