Saturday, March 31, 2012

Swervedriver - Heaven -- Rock'n'Roll Hotel - Mar 30 2012

Heaven - Oh, the headache I have today. Maybe it was the brilliant musical pounding last night, but I really wish this band had a more peculiar name which would ease my pain. So I am not going to spend any more time trying to find their link. Too bad, as I may want to listen to more based on what I heard last night. They lined up with guitar, keyboards and drums. The sound is thick shoegaze, both dreamy and with some guts to it. The keyboards move around from bass support to synth runs and provide a lot of depth to the sound. Drums are steady and the guitar has the expected shoegaze/rock sound. The dual vocals are the key for me. the voices manage to evoke the classic dreamy quality but with a second voice present, they add an edgy undercurrent that exponentially expands the sound. Solid opening set, received well from this nearly packed house.
Swervedriver - Adam Franklin has been working a fine solo career in recent years and has a new album coming out this summer. But in the mean time, he has put together his famous (at least at cult level) band Swervedriver for a bit of touring. He retains the drummer he has been working with and along with what I believe was his original partner on guitar and a bassist, managed to whip up an incredible set. Franklin has a solid voice, which was barely heard with the twin guitar attack and pounding rhythm section. He has complexity in his songs, along with a driving enjoyable style that varies just enough to show his songwriting skill. This really is not shoegaze to me, aside from the pedals and volume. It is powerful rock music with hooks, with emotive vocals and a quality band where you can focus on any member and see the skill they bring to the group sound. The fans up front were very much into this and not just because of the quality they knew about ahead of time. The band was composed and on the mark throughout the set with nary a break between songs. Strong stuff tonight and they played a long set that was about 80 minutes or thereabouts. Most any rock fan should catch this act if they are nice enough to do it again. My guess is that you will see Adam Franklin & the Bolts of Melody in DC some time soon. You won't get quite the power, but you will get all the quality. He is someone, more people should be following.

Quote of the Day: Very quiet tonight so I'll go back to a lunch conversation where a guy much older than me and still at work at HUD (where I retired from over 4 years ago) took issue with some of the consulting I and another retiree were doing and said...
"You see, when I go, I am not going to be doing any of this anymore, I'm going to fully retire."

My retort... "And what (he) doesn't seem to want to get is that I have worked all of four hours this month and pick exactly what I want to do at the large hourly rate they provide for me. I have my freedom and I won't be the one having to go back to work after lunch..."


Anonymous said...

Great review! You can learn more about Heaven here:

David Hintz said...

Thanks. I will create the link. I did try to look, but had a monster headache that morning, so I gave up early. I still prefer bands with names like Butthole Surfers or Swervedriver as those word combos are easy to find.