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Solid debut album from a clearly talented band
on 21 November 2002
Raise was Swervedriver's first album, and although it has been overshadowed somewhat by it's sequel 'Mezcal Head', it is still a fine example of shoegazing with a hint of grunge. For those who've never heard a Swervedriver song, expect layers of guitars, deadpan vocals, odd but catchy melodies and pounding drums. In places that combination works wonderfully to create some excellent songs, particularly 'Son of Mustang Ford', which had the potential to be a classic of it's era. On other occasions however, the formula can become slightly tedious. In places Adam Franklin sounds like he's not even trying to sing, which doesn't do the consistenly good melodies justice. The vocal ante would be upped on subsiquent albums, but Raise remains one of my favourites because it's the raw Swervedriver sound, which has only been tamed over time. I may have had a pop at Franklin's singing just now, but the fact that pretty much anyone do better when attempting a bit of car-kareoke is one of the charming things about Raise, after all, the car is the natural home of all Swervedriver albums.