In 1990 London's indie-rock guitar scene was developing a distinctive new psychedelic sound: swirling, dreamy, mysterious and very much of the British Isles. One band stood out by hot-wiring that sound with the subversive energy of some American bands of the era and that band was Swervedriver. They had the liquid distortion of shoegaze combined with the cool swagger of Hüsker Dü, Sonic Youth, and Dinosaur Jr - giving them a unique sound and attitude.
Relocating from Oxford to London, guitarists Adam Franklin and Jimmy Hartridge, bassist Adi Vines and drummer Graham Bonnar debuted with a series of landmark Creation Records EPs, Son of Mustang Ford, Rave Down, and Sandblasted. Their full-length debut, 1991's Raise, to this day is hailed by Pitchfork as an album full of "muscular, scorching guitars" that "still bring the noise like nobody's business" with Mojo stating that Son of Mustang Ford "remains one of the most glorious tunes to emerge in the wake of the so-called grunge explosion of '89, matching Adam Franklin and Jim Hartridge's motorised guitar-weaving with a beguiling, below-the-line vocal melody and lyrics that celebrated the joy of wide-open American freeways."
The band toured the album extensively, including a lengthy US tour with Soundgarden that brought their wall of sound to thousands. However with both Bonnar and Vines leaving the band not long after, the 1992 EP Never Lose That Feeling looked like it might be Swervedriver's (albeit scorching) swan song. Then in late 1992, Franklin and Hartridge demoed a new tune "Duress," recruited drummer Jez Hindmarsh and set about recording a second full-length albumMezcal Head with Alan Moulder (My Bloody Valentine/Led Zeppelin), which included their biggest singles "Duel" and "Last Train To Satansville." Touring extensively again, this time with Smashing Pumpkins and Medicine and with new bass player Steve George onboard, their sound was further imprinted on people's minds.