A big song from Revolver, often compared to The Doors in their grandiose style.
Revolver are arguably the most southern shoegazing band. Formed in London but two of the trio where from Winchester, which is about as close as my home town on the south coast as the shoegaze scene got to. Their first album Baby’s Angry was a collection of early releases (very typical of indie bands in the early nineties). This had fey vocals and a barrage of effects laden guitars.
Cold Water Flat by comparison is a very BIG album, lots of production and a barrage of instruments mostly played by Mat Flint . They wanted to make an epic. This was very brave for their proper debut album. The first single of the album was Cradle Snatch this caused a minor disturbance in the music press for allegedly ripping off The Verve. There is no denying that it sound like Storm in Heaven era The Verve. By the time Cold Water Flat hit the shelves in 1993 the whole shoegazing scene was in decline. The only other release after was I Wear Your Chain, this also failed to get Revolver noticed outside select indie circles. At this point they called it a day and gave up. Matt Flint (vocals/guitar) went on to take up bass duties with Death in Vegas.
I Wear Your Chain
Nothing Without You
Cold Water Flat
Makes No Difference All The Same
The finale from the Winchester/London trio, before they were unceremoniously ejected from their record label the Virgin subsidiary, Hut Records. This was after the single failed to get into the top 75, and the band split shortly after. The fact that they were all pursuing academic careers could have added to this speedy departure.
Towards the the end of there career they were subjected to the shoegazing backlash. They were completely slated by the music press in live reviews:
Reading Festival review: Melody Maker “… quick, call the taste police …”
Live Review, November 1991, Melody Maker: “Revolver are better than Blur. There´s really not a fat lot else to say about them right now.”
Live Review, May 1992, NME: “The haircut gives the game away as surely as the band name. Revolver are precocious ’60s pillagers, rifling through the past in the hope of creating something worthwhile for the future. It’s an old scam that doesn’t always work. While Spitfire manage to pull it off with a heady live show, flushed with cocky verve and raging tunes, Revolver find themselves shooting blanks over and over.”
The I Wear Your Chain EP is not Revolver’s best effort, it is not a great swansong. It sounds very much like Thousand Yard Stare but not quite as good.
I Wear Your Chain (Screaming Mix)
Carry Me Away
Bottled Out (Acoustic)
A compilation of early singles, an incomplete one at that. This means that completists like myself end up buying the EPs and maxi single anyway. It chronicles the first two years of the life of Revolver.
Influenced obviously by Ride, and a much more up-tempo and energetic than other shoegazing acts that dwelled in the early nineties. It is criminally underrated, not even really appreciated as a cult or underground album. Mat Flint’s vocals are strong enough to stand up and not be an unintelligible murmur, this was how most of the indie scenes songs were sung. Revolver were definitely into making songs with rhythm, tune, melody and surprisingly energy, rather than soundscapes.
Venice and Molasses are great rock songs, with a drum that hammers throughout the song. There is a surprising cover of Strawberry Switchblade’s, Since Yesterday. It does not quite match the original but it is still a treat.
Out of their two albums Baby’s Angry is the best. With more energy and less fiddly production.