Mar 3, 2015

Shoegaze Brief Blasts: Featuring Swervedriver-I Wasn't Born To Lose You, Echodrone-Five

     It's a small miracle that Swervedriver's fifth album was ever recorded yet alone released in 2015. They weren't appreciated during their heyday and I Wasn't Born To Lose You will only be anticipated and celebrated by hardcore shoegaze geeks. All of us shoegaze geeks should really take the time consider Adam Franklin and how he's never quit on his passion. If Swervedriver was on hiatus, he continued to record and tour with, something like, three other projects. The You in this album's title may as well be Music or just Ambition. I, for one, am grateful for whatever compels Adam to be so damn restless.
     Has anything changed for Swervedriver since '98? Hardly, man. The sole outlier on I Wasn't Born To Lose You is 'Red Queen Arms Race', by all accounts, not very expansive or spacey; however psychedelic it hopes to be. It sounds more like an Arctic Monkeys tune. Otherwise, album five finds Swervedriver in peak form; driving rhythms, crystal guitar leads, melodies made to comfort lovesick souls. Nothing dark or pouty here. Swervedriver harness their considerable power to uplift, not to commiserate.
     Almost nobody wants to make this type of music today. Adam Franklin and co. are some quasi damn saviors, man. Anyone who refuses to give in to Swervedriver's magic has been letting mortgage concerns or whatever slowly kill them for too long.

Buy/Listen Here

                                                                                                                          The Verdict: 3.5 Bedpans

     Echodrone formed 'round the mid 00's and I need to know why such a badass band name as this one hadn't already been taken. Is the name "Echodrone" not weird enough for most bands? Any band (I don't care what they sound like) is foolish for passing on "Echodrone". Hearty congratulations to Echodrone for snatching their name from idiots who probably wouldn't carry it proudly enough.
     If Echodrone decides to choose such a shoegaze-worthy name, their musical chops better justify that decision. They certainly know how to mix keys and bass well. The guitars mostly emit the same tone throughout, as a solid slab of nearly impenetrable fuzz. Electronics are a central focus for Echodrone. Most of the dynamics they create are led by lush, otherworldly key strokes punctuated by occasional bleeps/bloops and ever-morphing knob twists.
     Five mixes the best of Sigur Ros, Explosions in The Sky, and maybe even a tad Nine Inch Nails thrown in for good measure. 'When The Two Ends Meet' is as Failure as I've heard any band sound in quite a while. The cover art is an orange mess and why not? I want hundreds of orange autumn leaves to fall on my face while I luxuriate in Five's soundscapes.

Listen/Buy Here

                                                   The Verdict: 3 Bedpans

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