Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

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“Deep Twang”: Swervedriver’s Surfgaze

1991’s “Deep Twang” – the B-side of a bonus 7″ single from UK’s fabled Creation label – would seem to anticipate the psychedelic surf instrumental sounds that the Mermen would later bring, to great relief, to the DC area on their one and only visit in 1995:

“Deep Twang”     Swervedriver     1991

Big Takeover‘s Jack Rabid has championed Swervedriver from the band’s earliest days, and yet the group remains “one of the most underrated acts of the ’90s,” acknowledges the Washington Post.  Furthermore, says the Post, “this UK band stood out as they rocked too hard to be shoegaze yet had too many dreamy textures for the mainstream.”   As with Roy Lanham, Swervedriver found themselves too jazz-leaning for hard country fans, and too funky for the cufflink crowd, since one person’s ‘shoegaze’ is another person’s modern psychedelic pop.  Undeterred, the band would forge its own path.

Swervedriver 45 “Surf Twang” / “Deep Twang” was a bonus 45 included with the band’s first LP, Raise.  Discogs helpfully informs us that these two instrumentals are 4-track demos, with “Surf Twang” being an early version of “Last Train to Satansville” (from Mezcal Head, their second album), while “Deep Twang” is a version of “Deep Seat” from Raise.

Swervedriver – performing this Wed., March 25th at DC’s Rock & Roll Hotel – is touring behind their first album in 15 years, I Wasn’t Born to Lose You (check out “Lone Star“).  NPR’s First Listen weighs in on the new one – also, check out this recent interview with Adam Franklin.

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