Space Travel, Rock 'n' Roll

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Going back to Swervedriver's catalog is a real pleasure. Unlike many of the bands that came of age in the shoegaze era, Swervedriver have a timeless, epic rock & roll feel that keeps them sounding fresh and relevant. It also helps that they never tried to sound like anything other than what they were: no dance remixes, no lame forays into Americana, no slick commercial sellouts; just good songs, great performances, and the laconic, iconic voice of Adam Franklin. The four-track Space Travel, Rock 'n' Roll EP serves up some classic late-period Swervedriver. "99th Dream" ended up as the title track from the band's final album and is classic guitar overload Swervedriver with an excellent melody and lyrics that quote from the Electric Prunes and the Psychedelic Furs. The version here is the same as the album version but is edited, sadly fading out well before the song's conclusion. "Good Ships" is an impossibly moody space ballad with Adam Franklin's hushed voice weaving through a shifting wall of guitars and sound. "Hate Your Kind" is a lush country-inflected tune that shares chords and a general feeling with Steve Miller's "Space Cowboy" chords but not that song's easygoing lyrical feel. Instead it is much darker and in tune with the late '90s. "Stimulani" is as close as the band ever got to filler, just simple chords repeated over and over with increasing volume and intensity. The Space Travel, Rock 'n' Roll EP is proof that the band never wavered and was great until the very end. Seek it out.

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