99th Dream

CD Cover Swervedriver

Review by Michael O'Donahue

Swervedriver are sounding a little zoned out, like after a few years of making their distinctive psychedelic soundscapes, the band has finally succeeded in hypnotizing themselves. The slow, druggy pace and fascination with their own weird noises works against them on this disc to the point that the songs themselves go missing in a fog of production gimmicks and barely-pre-passing-out vocal delivery.

Occasionally, something does bubble up from under the surface and get your attention, but then the song goes on forever and ever until it gets annoying. I was really looking forward to this release, but found my fingers wandering in the direction of the SKIP button with alarming frequency.

The album starts out with some promise: "99th Dream" is a pleasant enough, though hard to remember, tune; and the dip into the Beatles collection on "These Times" is okay, but not great. It's with the slightly Radiohead-like "Electric 77" that everything takes a big nosedive, as far as momentum is concerned, and it never recovers.

In the end, 99th Dream wanders around like it just woke up and there's no coffee.

First published in Drop-D Magazine on June 16, 1998

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