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December 29, 2005

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Don't blink, or it will all be over before you even realize what hit you. Swords is what a hit and run car wreck feels and sounds like. The group Lords has been a roadwarrioring (yes, I made this word up and I am trademarking it) group of semi-Hessian sound miscreants for quite some time. After two equally disturbing EP's (House that Lords Built and Moral Darkness) and a split 7" with Coliseum, their first full-length (a term used loosely here) sat for a while due to finance issues with the original label, Auxiliary. Luckily, Jade Tree had the foresight to coral this rock-n-roll monstrosity.

Swords is a sonic creature unique to Lords. There is little out there to which it could be compared. Even after multiple listens the album is still mystifying. The music soars with discordant melodies, rock bombast, and subtle grooves, all mixing and churning through each other. The record almost feels like one long song, mostly due to the attack strategy with which Lords abuses the listener. If not for the personality of each track, this could be argued. The band jams the gist of each individual song with everything necessary in what usually hovers anywhere from a minute flat to not quite two minutes.

Lords has filled Swords with some standout tracks. "Ringfinger" has a real obnoxious cadence in the vocals that makes the song over-the-top amazing, and there are a couple of rhythm changes that really push it. "Two Lies" has a great "church" revival feel in part of the song that makes it worth a solid listen. "She Is Lost" begins with a great pounding rhythm that just makes it so raw sounding. "Watching the Clock" starts off with a real off kilter vocal and guitar part that seem to play a game with the drums, contrasting nicely with the cacophonous second part of the song. "Lift High the Mighty Throne" has an amazing megaphone vocal piece that compliments the groove laid down by the music.

In Swords, Lords have created a unique album that flashes by without the realization of what happened to one's ears. Repeated listens bring out the subtle layers and brilliant musical arrangements. If you are looking for something new and unique that stands out from most of the indie music pack, don't miss Swords. And yes, they named the album so simply because it rhymed with their name. Genius.

7.5 / 10

Scene Point Blank

Bob Morgan