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 Ranking the Albums
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Yr Mechanic

33 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2017 :  8:16:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
After reading Adam's album rankings, I'm interested to know how others would rate the albums. I think enough time has passed so that we can see where I Wasn't Born to Lose You fits in our own minds--I agree with Adam that it stands with the best, although I wouldn't place it above a couple of others. I love all five Swervedriver albums, so even though I would also rank it #5, to me 99th Dream is still a classic.

For me, though, Mezcal Head stands above the rest. It's my favourite album by any band, and I've listened to it more than anything else, hundreds and hundreds of times. There's very little music that I listened to at 16 (when it came out) that still speaks to me at 40. Almost every track has been my favourite at some time during those 24 years.

I'm beyond psyched to be able to hear the whole thing next week in Toronto. If 40 didn't also bring along all the usual responsibilities, I would be tracking them all over North America in September.

So here's my list:

1) Mezcal Head
2) Ejector Seat Reservation
3) I Wasn't Born to Lose You
4) Raise
5) 99th Dream

Here's hoping that Album #6 takes a place near the top of the list...


United Kingdom
1074 Posts

Posted - 09/04/2017 :  06:49:34 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ask me again in 6 months and this might change, but at the moment:

1) I Wasn't Born to Lose You
2) Ejector Seat Reservation
3) Mezcal Head
4) Raise
5) 99th Dream

I like them all and I certainly don't think 99th is a bad LP. ESR beats Mezcal by a nose for me in terms of overall quality.

I think its a important to note that a lot of the best material ended up as B-sides.

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Driving Instructor

930 Posts

Posted - 09/04/2017 :  4:52:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
1....(the next one!)

"Whatever happens your toes are still tappen"
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KM Atlanta

57 Posts

Posted - 09/05/2017 :  12:09:44 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
(the real #1 = Juggernaut Rides + B-Sides Compiled)
1. Mezcal Head
2. Raise
3. I Wasn't Born to Lose You
4. Ejector Seat Reservation
5. 99th Dream
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Driving Instructor

503 Posts

Posted - 09/06/2017 :  07:29:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
1.) Mezcal Head
2.) Raise
3.) I Wasn't Born to Lose You
4.) Ejector Seat Reservation
5.) 99th Dream

This is hard to pick for me. Mezcal Head is the first album that I actually bought back in 94 or 95 so that's always going to be my favorite. I love Raise though because that's the only album with that sound and they played totally different with Graham on drums than with Jez. The rest of the albums are all great too, but it just depends on my mood. For me personally, there are a few tracks I skip on ESR and 99th, but Raise and Mezcal I play from start to finish every time.
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8 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2017 :  06:42:54 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
1. Mezcal Head
2. Raise
3. Ejector Seat
4. 99th
5. Wasn't Born to Lose

It is certainly strange to completely disagree with the brilliant, thoughtful, honest, open and very sweet if you ever should run into him AF, but:
Mezcal for me is the most sonically complete across all four band members, structurally whole end to end, and the entire outro in the "wrong" US version pushes the whole experience into cinematically epic. There are songs that drive deep emotionally on variant levels, delicate intricacy perfectly balanced with crush and catharsis.
Raise while a bit more uneven as a whole, as to be expected, has some of the band's finest moments, songs I could listen to a million times.
ESR and 99th both have their peaks and valley, as does IWBTLY - and it may just be the case I need more time with the latter, but I think the bands greatest complexity across the whole range of instrumentation and open emotion tilts towards the earlier work. That said Swerves "worst" record is still a great one that gets a lot of spin for me.
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Assistant Driver

215 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2017 :  3:00:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
1. Raise
2. I Wasn't Born To Lose You
3. Mezcal Head
4. Ejector Seat
5. 99th Dream

I would say it's very close between 1 & 2 for me, they could easily switch rank.

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30 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2017 :  10:59:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
1. Mezcal Head (not crazy about these full album shows but if that's what it takes to get "A Change Is Gonna Come" live...)
2. 99th Dream (don't know if I made my case but, https://45rpy.wordpress.com/2017/05/02/swervedriver-99th-dream-1998/)
3. I Wasn't Born to Lose You (the crystalline production I've wanted for them and sublime tunes)
4. Raise (sometimes hard to find the songs through the murk and prefer Mustang Ford geared down just a tad live)
5. Ejector Seat Reservation (never quite connected with this one on the whole)
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4 Posts

Posted - 10/13/2017 :  3:18:38 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I saw this post last week, and thought about a list. Just before posting here I read the article with Adam in Vice, and I've since realized my list included a cheat, so I hope I'll be forgiven but here's my ranking:

1. Ejector Seat Reservation
2. 99th Dream
3. Juggernaut Rides
4.5.6. Raise, Mezcal, I Wasn't (in no particular order)

Some verbose notes (from a geek):

ESR: since 1995 it has stayed on my top 3 of all time greatest rock records. I like what Adam said about it on Noisey (that they were "settled"). I'd like to ask him how much of that feeling might be translated to a kind of confident fuck-all-ness that allowed them to follow their inspiration, wherever it lead. Never has their sonic palette been broader: composition, and then layering with horns, strings, samples, etc. I think this is what keeps me coming back to this record. This is a very mercurial record, and its reference points seem endless. The songwriting is stunning, and the production is absolutely intriguing: it pulls me in; I find myself reaching out into this record when I listen to it. Unlike Mezcal's wall of production that knocks me over (I don't mean this pejoratively - Duvel beer knocks me over as well!), ESR's production might be a wall as well, but it's a porous and textured wall, radically different (likely due to the 4 track origins?). The continuity of producer here amazes me as this record is so radically different in its production. Anyhow…

99th: In part, this record resists me in some ways. I find Stellar Caprice utterly alien – not necessarily a bad thing, but every time I listen to it I can’t fully connect to the song, and there’s something remotely appealing and respectable about that, coming from a band that is one of my all time favorites. I love that they challenge my sensibilities. Inside its outer shell, Behind the Scenes is tremendously appealing, and listening to Adam’s acoustic rendering of this song reveals it for what it is: a flawless folk song. In the Noisey interview Adam mentions going to see Blonde Redhead with Steve and re-arranging “These Times” as a result. For the first time in years, I heard this song in a different light, and for me this exposes what is so special about these two records for me: while having a very distinct artistic voice, Swervedriver are syncretists: be it Blonde Readhead, Dylan, Can, etc.; - like the production on ESR, they are porous to lots of different styles and influences, yet they always turn out something that sounds distinctly Swervedrivian.

Juggernaut: like Adam said in Noisey: hit after hit after hit…
The other records all rotate around for Swervie favorites, depending on mood and time. I first heard Raise in 1991 and it will always hold a special place in that respect.

Really looking forward to the new record with Mick Quinn.

Edited by - emerson on 10/13/2017 3:22:57 PM
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1 Posts

Posted - 12/23/2017 :  07:26:49 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
For me, it would be Raise > Ejector Seat > Mezcal Head > 99th Dream > I Wasn't Born To Lose You. Raise is my absolute favorite, but I listen to the rest depending on the mood I guess.
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Driving Instructor

575 Posts

Posted - 12/26/2017 :  5:23:23 PM  Show Profile  Visit whitewatersky's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by emerson

Really looking forward to the new record with Mick Quinn.

Me too. Jeez I had a blast watching them at Bimbos.....Albeit pretty drunk by the end.... hmmm

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