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For their first appearance here in New York since playing 1991’s debut Raise and 1993 world-beater and their zenith Mezcal Head at nearby Music Hall of Williamsburg (just a 15 minute walk away) back in September 2017, Swervedriver were here not to play older material but to promote their excellent new album Future Ruins. Unlike last time, though, they came here as part of a co-headlining tour with Failure, but really it felt like most there were there to see the aforementioned Failure (who played last).
Still, Swervedriver got a good crowd reaction and managed to play the best set I’ve ever seen them play in terms of how they sounded and the intensity they had as well. Of their relatively shortened, 60-minute set, the title track of the new record was particularly stunning, as were many of the newer songs they chose to play such as show opener “Mary Winter,” “Drone Lover” or the 2014 single “Setting Sun” (later on their 2015 comeback Lp I Wasn’t Born to Lose You). It was unusual to see a Swervedriver set that only contained a few old classics and they were pushed to the very end of the set (the exception being “MM Abduction,” hardly one of the more well-known songs), but in any case, it’s always thrilling to hear “Duel” and “Never Lose that Feeling,” both Mezcal Head era corkers, the latter only on the CD version and released as a single as well. It ultimately didn’t matter, though, because the quality of the performance was so high and whatever sound issues that Warsaw had in its early years (I hadn’t been there since 2005) seemed to be fixed because they sounded absolutely great in there. Though this club, also known as the Polish National Home, thankfully hasn’t changed when everything else in Greenpoint and the surrounding area seemingly has, that upgrade in sound is certainly a welcome one.
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