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Support: Criminal Hygiene

 

GA standing room. All ages.

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Failure

Unbound to any generation, scene or movement, Failure build upon an enduring catalog of inventive, inimitable and intriguing albums, as relevant today as they will be tomorrow.

Since forming in 1990, the influential Los Angeles trio – Ken Andrews [vocals, guitar, bass, programming], Greg Edwards [vocals, guitar, bass, keys] and Kellii Scott [drums, percussion] – have inhabited a universe of their own, orbited by seminal albums such as Comfort [1992], Magnified [1994] and Fantastic Planet [1996]. The latter received a rare 5-out-of-5 rating from Alternative Press as the group earned the public adoration of everyone from regular tour mates and friends Tool to Depeche Mode who openly praised the band for their cover of “Enjoy The Silence”. Following a 17-year hiatus, 2015’s The Heart Is A Monster re-established the band as a sought-after headliner in addition to attracting the praise of Rolling Stone, Pitchfork and Entertainment Weekly, to name a few. 2018 saw Failure continue forging ahead, releasing their fifth full-length album: In The Future Your Body Will Be The Furthest Thing From Your Mind.

 

Swervedriver

“Space travel rock’n’roll” – that’s how the band initially self-identified their sound. This was back in the 1990s, before the aspirational dreams of the computer age collided with reality. Across the four-album arc of their first era – Raise (1991); Mezcal Head (1993); Ejector Seat Reservation (1995); 99th Dream (1997) – Swervedriver made music that was all about the journey: songs called For Seeking Heat, Planes Over The Skyline, Juggernaut Rides, 93 Million Miles From The Sun And Counting. Swervedriver simulated the thrill of propulsion, the euphoric arrival, the anticipation of going back again (or not)… of moving on.

And move on they did. During 10 years in absentia, the band’s legend grew. Sages spoke mistily of these four desert rock horsemen of the apocalypse who came from Oxford and were shunned as exiles in their own land. In 2005, a two-disc anthology was compiled with the band’s involvement, and foretold a resurrection. Sure enough, the trip resumed in 2008, with Swervedriver encountering the acclaim they ought to have enjoyed a decade earlier. A fifth album, I Wasn’t Born To Lose You, emerged in 2015, a mere 17 years after its predecessor, and trumpeted some eternal Swervedriver virtues: the intricate, fissile guitar patterns of Adam Franklin and Jimmy Hartridge, baked hard then dispatched in giant monolithic waves by a tactile rhythm section including drummer Mikey Jones. As the opening song Autodidact had it: “Holy fuel forever spilled”.

So much for the resurrection, now for the reckoning. The new Swervedriver album is titled Future Ruins, a two-word précis of its dread thrills. It opens with Mary Winter, a song narrated by a recognisable Swervedriver archetype: a traveler, hurtling away from this world. “Planet Earth long gone/And my feet won’t touch the ground.” But where is the traveler headed? And why? The second song, The Lonely Crowd Fades In The Air, offers some possible answers: “We’ve stumbled into the end of days/Where the future comes home to cry…”

“There’s a lot of foreboding with regard to the future on this album,” agrees Adam Franklin. “Space is in there a lot too. In the first song, the character is a spaceman who’s trying to remember what life is really like. Also, it could be about somewhere in the world where winter isn’t like the winter here. A sunny place, but its December or January and you’re trying to remember winter. Something’s going on.”



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