Music News


When most people think of the early '90s, they instantly think of grunge. But there was a larger phenomenon of non-mainstream music that often gets overlooked on those TV music retrospectives. Swervedriver emerged from the same loose scene, which included the likes of My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Catherine Wheel, Lush and the Jesus and Mary Chain. A mix of ethereal, atmospheric music and genuinely muscular rock-and-roll riffs, Swervedriver's songs had more bite than those of many of its counterparts. The sound was one of urgent psychedelia, adrenalized and buoyed by melodic hooks. Although its career has been occasionally dogged by misfortune, Swervedriver has outlasted virtually all of its peers and has never released a weak record. Back on tour after an extended hiatus, one of the true powerhouses of the "alternative" era will embody the continued relevance of guitar rock.

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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.