. . .
When we get to The Yardbirds, we’ll have a deeper discussion of what it means to “rave up,” which I’m assuming is the concept upon which Adam Franklin is turning on its head on the other greatest song from Swervedriver’s Raise album, the monumental “Rave Down.”
Opening with a shitton of massive guitars from Franklin and Jimmy Hartridge over drummer Graham Bonnar’s bouncy drum part, “Rave Down” veers into psychedelic territory even before it eventually opens with the chorus.
Raaavvvvvvvvveee down, hit the ground
There are a couple of cool things about that chorus: the first one being how Franklin wraps his voice around the word “Raaavvvvvvvvveee” each time, the second one being the infinite amount of space they leave and noise they create between each line. Like “Son of Mustang Ford,” — and much of Raise, actually — “Rave Down” is about spending time driving your car looking for something to do. Petrol was a lot cheaper back then.
4 AM all night hell gas station
Before we cruise off to the beach
Where the breeze blows easy and slow
We hung tight all night and no gig to go to
There could be something happenin’ here
But there’s just no place to go
Your town ain’t lively up no more
These are some pretty American-sounding lyrics from a band based in Oxford, but at that point, Franklin was kind of obsessed with U.S. car culture, though the obsession wasn’t really returned, as they’ve always a band that people might have heard about more than heard. Which is too bad, because as “Rave Down” goes on, it actually kinda does have a rave-up, again channelling Daydream Nation to a certain extent, though never quite as dissonant.
No matter what, though, the twists and turns of “Rave Down” are fantastic, and each time you listen, you hear more cool psychedelic guitar parts flying every which way out of your speakers. And yeah, it sounds great in a car.
“Rave Down” live in Sydney, 2011
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