Swervedriver was my favorite band during my high school/early college days. The most underrated band of the 1990s by far. I cannot believe these guys never became huge! Mezcal Head was their second album after their excellent, albeit muffled-sounding, debut. It sports improved production after Raise. It also is a heavier sounding album. That I rank this album Swervedriver's third best is not a knock on the album, it is just a demonstration of how awesome these "shoegazers" were (and maybe still can be).
The first two tracks blow the roof off! "Blowin' Cool" would have made a wonderful single. It has a very accessible sound, with a catchy chorus and, surprisingly, nice vocals. "Last Train Satansville" was a great single (you can just feel that engine rumblin' down the tracks!) but, here, it drags a little bit. The vocals end around the three-minute mark, but the band rides that locomotive for a full 6:45. "A Change is Gonna Come" and "You Find It Everywhere" are two more catchy tracks. "Duress," although a fine song, takes 3:00 to really get going. The final track is another great Swervedriver track but, like "Satansville," the instrumental ending goes on, and on. This jazzy one continues for over six minutes! This is an awesome album.
Without the long, drawn-out tracks, it would rank up to, and maybe even surpass the brilliant Raise! As it is, however, I don't think it's as solid as Raise for the very reason that I have to skip through almost 12 minutes of music to get to the good stuff. Raise set a very high standard finally broken with the un-freakin'-believable 99th Dream (if you do not have that CD, get it now!). Mezcal Head didn't quite reach it but is damn good and re-established Swervedriver as one of the most under-appreciated bands of the 1990s!