Swervedriver and Failure played the Paradise -3/27

UK shoegazers Swervedriver and LA alt-rockers Failure brought their co-headlining tour to the Paradise last week. 

On paper, maybe Swervedriver and Failure aren’t the most intuitive tour package. The former are a one-time Creation Records darling, the latter a druggy space-grunge trio – and that notion of disconnect was reinforced by the number of fellow attendees to the pair’s recent Paradise show who were avowed fans of one or the other. To me though, this was a gap that could use bridging. After all, neither of these sonically detail-oriented bands – both back together after their initial 1990s runs and with a respective pair of solid reunion records to their credit – ought to be a difficult sell to folks who enjoy guitars. I’d like to hope last Wednesday vindicated me.

Swervedriver, still led by founding guitarists Adam Franklin and Jimmy Hartridge, took the first of the co-headlining slots and roared through over an hour of material focused on this year’s Future Ruins and 2015’s I Wasn’t Born to Lose You. Given that the band’s last stop in town found them revisiting their first two records in full, the more contemporary focus felt justified. Plus, Franklin and Hartridge haven’t lost their touch. The new songs slotted in nicely alongside some oldies, all driving, dreamy heaviness cranked out at maximum volume amid a disorienting light-show of silhouettes.

Failure, too, hewed towards the new, highlighting their under-the-radar 2018 full-length (or EP compilation, if you wanna get technical) In the Future Your Body Will Be the Further Thing From Your Mind. The trio of Ken Andrews, Greg Edwards and Kelli Scott whipped up a dense wall of sound that did justice to their lushly-produced studio output, and even effectively sold the left-field Beatles-esque ballad that closes that new record amid a set of more traditional space-y-ness. It’s also hard to argue with any set that dares stack “Pillowhead,” “Smoking Umbrellas” and “Stuck on You” from the low-key mid-90s classic Fantastic Planet back to back to back.

Check out photos from the whole night, including openers Criminal Hygiene, below.