Following a limited Bandcamp release in 2020, Outer Battery Records is thrilled to announce the worldwide release of Swervedriver’s original debut four-track EP, Petroleum Spirit Daze, this May.
Eventually released in 1990 as the Son of Mustang Ford, it’s hard to believe that the original recording behind the EP was filed away for over thirty years before its rediscovery by the Oxford stalwarts in 2020. Listening back with hindsight, the newly rechristened Petroleum Spirit Daze is not only the sound of a band on the borders of breakthrough – in their case by Creation Records’ singular Svengali, Alan McGee – it’s the sound of four young men ready to throw everything they had at an increasingly tumultuous world.
“Creation was actually the last label to whom we had handed a tape of our demo,” explains guitarist/vocalist, Adam Franklin. “We sent one to Blast First because they’d put out records by Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. Another to Glass Records because they’d recently released music by Spacemen 3, and the last tape we had in our possession we gave over to Ride’s Mark Gardener who in turned passed it on to Alan McGee.”
McGee was in Los Angeles with The House of Love’s Guy Chadwick when he finally got around to listening to the band’s demo and decided there and then to not only give them a record deal but book them to open for Chadwick’s mercurial outfit at Liverpool Royal Court.
Teaming up with producer and close friend Tim Turan, who’d recorded the very demo which got them signed, the band ventured into deepest, darkest Surrey to make their debut EP for Creation Records at the House in the Woods Studio.
“After we finished recording, I took a copy with me to Seville where I was having a week’s holiday with my girlfriend,” recalls Franklin. “There was weed and oranges everywhere and I remember looking out across the water at Morocco, listening to these songs.”
Upon his return, Swervedriver were instructed by McGee to rerecord the EP in London in an attempt to keep the band “lean and mean”, which they duly did, allowing Creation to release a revised version of their debut as the Son of Mustang Ford EP that summer.
Yet thirty years on the original House of the Woods recording still resonates with the band. From the dynamism-rich guitar play of ‘Volcano Trash’, to the measured and mindful melody of ‘Juggernaut Rides’ and near weightless denouement of ‘Kill the Superheroes’, Petroleum Spirit Daze is as good as Swervedriver has ever sounded. Even ‘Son of Mustang’ itself, the only track here of the four to have seen the light of day (it appeared on an NME/Creation cassette circa 1991) captures a moment in time, integral to the band’s inevitable ascension.
Petroleum Spirit Daze will be given an official worldwide release on 26th May 2023 | Pre-order via Outer Battery Records here