LORDS first album for Jade Tree, combines the “get in the van” urgency of a forgotten era of SST influenced punk rock with an awe-inspiring precision and swagger of late 80’s American thrash metal. LORDS deliver their unique brand of volatile thrash in a blaze of towering riffs, near heretical rants and throttling drums. Swords (JT1107) is a torrid and unrelenting assault that leaves a trail of scorched earth in its path.

Written and recorded by Lords December 2004 – January 2005 at Headbangingkillyourmamamusic

With Help from Matt Jaha, Shawn Severs, Christian Tonegawa and Ryan Patterson
Design by CSDIV / safearmy.com

1. Stigmata Rites
2. Ringfinger
3. Two Lies
4. She Is The Last
5. Snake It
6. My Kind Live Low
7. Watching the Clock
8. Slow and Stupid
9. Lift High The Mighty Throne
10. Talking Whip
11. Beauty Sleep
12. The Crawl
13. Curse of Clear Vision

Lords Interview

Despite having never been to Canada before, Chris Owens from Lords seems to have a pretty good grasp of the music scene here.

"Voivod rules, No Means No rules and Rush sucks," says the guitarist.

The Louisville, Kentucky trio make their Canadian debut this week with gigs in Ontario and Quebec. The trek will mark the band’s second tour outside of the U.S. Their first came last year when they played their way across Europe. Owens is looking forward to exploring a new country and learning firsthand if there’s any truth to what he’s been told by new drummer Eric McManus and others.

"We’ve never played Canada before, so we’re all pretty excited about it. I hope it doesn’t suck. Eric has played there in other bands. He said it was pretty cool and that the bums were a lot nicer. I also think there are less Christians there and I’ve heard it’s easier to get drugs."

Formed in 2003 out of the ashes of Slow Suicide, Lords released an EP titled The House That Lords Built the following year via Initial Records. They planned to put out their first full-length, 2005′s blistering Swords, through the same imprint, but it went out of business while they were making it. After sending copies of the recording to a few labels, Jade Tree offered to help get their CD into the hands of the hard rock-loving masses.

Fans can expect to hear cuts from Swords along with a handful of new songs during Lords’ upcoming dates. Mixing metal and punk together with brain spasm-inducing results, you may want to consider bringing earplugs in case the act are able to avoid the pitfalls of their two greatest concert adversaries.

"It will be loud unless we have to deal with some dickhead sound man who thinks every live band should sound like Megadeth’s Countdown To Extinction record or if some of our amps break," says Owens. "Both have been known to happen from time to time."

The new songs will appear on Lords’ sophomore effort, which should surface later this year. Owens wanted to have the recording out by March, but touring and working McManus into the band have eaten up a lot of valuable spare time. He has a lot of ideas about what he’d like to do with the project. However, it should be noted that, although quite creative, his judgment may be a little off at times.

"If I get my way, the album will be titled Fuck All Y’all Motherfuckers and hopefully be out by summer. Of course, if I had got my way for Swords, it would have had this picture I took of me jacking off and shooting a load of cum on a piece of paper that said "Sword Sux" behind the tray card, and the whole album would have repeated three times in a row on the disc."

Here are Lords’ tour dates:

Jan. 25 Toronto, ON @ White Orchid
Jan. 26 Montreal, QC @ Linco
Jan. 27 Kingston, ON @ Clark Hall Pub
Jan. 28 Ottawa, ON @ End Hits
Jan. 29 London, ON @ Call The Office
Jan. 31 Sudbury, ON @ The Shrine Centre
Feb. 1 Hamilton, ON @ The Underground
Feb. 2 Guelph, ON @ Club Shadow
Feb. 3 Peterborough, ON @ Underdog


Lords deliver head-banging kill-your-mama music

Louisville, Kentucky, has a reputation within the punk rock community for producing some of the angriest, most sincere, original punk and hardcore bands the genre has ever turned out. Luckily, the most recent wave of Louisville bands, including Young Widows, Coliseum and the absolutely incredible Lords, is no exception to the city’s tradition of fury and honesty.
"Don’t let any one of us take that much credit for Louisville’s reputation. The city has been a breeding ground for angry, incredible and influential punk rock bands since punk started," insists Chris Owens, Lords’ guitarist, vocalist and owner of a recording studio called Headbanging Kill Your Mama Music.

Lords released their debut full-length, Swords, on Jade Tree Records in ’05 following their The House That Lords Built EP on Coliseum frontman Ryan Patterson’s Initial Records a year earlier.

"[Swords is] the most successful record I’ve ever been a part of and probably the least successful record Jade Tree has ever released. But we’re really low overhead, so I think it works out," jokes Owens.

After spending much of ’05 and ’06 touring in support of Swords, Lords are planning to record and release their follow-up album sometime in ’07.

"There will be a new record. I had wanted to get it out by March but that’s not happening now. I want to call it ‘Fuck All Y’all Motherfuckers’ and the cover will be a crucified Jesus, but [on the sign on the cross] instead of ‘INRI’ it will say ‘LORDS,’ and in one

hand he’ll be holding a gun and with it he’ll be blowing the brains out of this baby being held by its mother and the splatter from the baby’s brains will spell out the album title… we’ll see what happens though," says Owens.

While Lords’ pummelling sound clearly draws inspiration from the scene out of which it grew, elements of heavy, angular punk rock acts like Born Against and Karp, as well as an echo of the classic SST Records sound, obviously play a part in Lords’ audio make-up.

"If it weren’t for [classic Louisville act] Kinghorse, then Lords wouldn’t be Lords," Owens adds.


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The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative is no sweat off LORDS‘ backs. The band will venture across the border for a string of Canadian shows, including a few with FUCKED UP.

The dates:

01/25/2007 Toronto, ON Canada @ 812 Dundas St
01/26/2007 Montreal, PQ Canada @ Linco
01/27/2007 Kingston, ON Canada @ Clark Hall Pub w/FUCKED UP
01/28/2007 Ottawa, ON Canada @ End Hits
01/29/2007 London, ON Canada @ Call The Office
01/31/2007 Sudbury, ON Canada @ The Shrine Centre
02/01/2007 Hamilton, ON Canada @ The Underground
02/02/2007 Guelph, ON Canada @ Club Shadow
02/03/2007 Peterborough, ON Canada @ Underdog w/FUCKED UP

See the for the dates with full details and updates.

Swords is available on .



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LORDS, aren’t going away anytime soon. On September 1st, our Louisville friends will be spending a few weeks on the road with Daughters and Russian Circles. Be there – LORDS is not to be missed.

Can’t get enough? Check out this recent LORDS interview at .

The dates:

09/01/2006 Fredericksburg, VA United States @ K.C.’s
09/02/2006 Charlotte, NC United States @ Casbah (Tremont Music Hall)
09/03/2006 Wilmington, NC United States @ Soapbox Laundro Lounge
09/04/2006 W. Columbia, SC United States @ New Brookland Tavern
09/06/2006 Atlanta, GA United States @ Drunken Unicorn
09/07/2006 Covington, KY United States @ Mad Hatter
09/08/2006 DeKalb, IL United States @ The House Cafe – Illinois
09/09/2006 Milwaukee, WI United States @ The Cactus Club
09/10/2006 St. Louis, MO United States @ Creepy Crawl
09/11/2006 Indianapolis, IN United States @ The Underground – Indianapolis
09/12/2006 Nashville, TN United States @ The Muse

Drop by the for the dates with full details and updates.



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Arguably one of Louisville’s loudest bands, LORDS is hitting the road for the next month with their good friends Ed Gein. The tour will take them through the Southwest, West coast and Midwest. If you haven’t seen LORDS live yet, get your ass off the couch. This band can’t be missed – just ask . If you haven’t heard Swords yet, .


Drop by the for the dates with full details and updates.

Lords/New Mexican Disaster Squad Show Review

Have you ever been to a show and said "damn, those people who didn’t come to this one sure missed a great fucking show?" Well, this one takes the cake: New Mexican Disaster Squad, Lords, and one amazing and one semi-crappy opening local band: Forest Fire and Jasper, respectively.

The show was at the Mad Hatter on a Tuesday night, so when I showed up and barely anyone was there I was a tad disappointed, but not in the least bit surprised. My friend Erik and his band Forest Fire arrived with a woman named Pat Rice. To people in the Greater Cincinnati area she is known as the Punk Rock Grandma, who despite her old age continues to go to shows and garner respect from young and old(er??) alike. By looking at her reaction, bands can judge their performance because she is such a respected individual. I think after the first song Jasper played Pat went to the back of the club to sleep.

This lineup originally included a local band who is very good, called the Frankl Project. Because of a graffiti incident that forced their drummer to miss the show, they did not play. Even so, check them out here.

I was told that Jasper was a ska band ahead of time, but from their first song you wouldn’t have known. They began with a really tight hardcore song laden with fast heavy metal riffs á la the headliner. It went downhill from there. These guys are freshmen in high school who if they played more songs like their first would be really good. The problem is that no one is going to take a bunch of freshmen who play fast metallic hardcore seriously. Oh well, they brought a bunch of jackass kids with them who tried to start a skank pit for Jasper’s terrible ska songs. They also proceeded to yell phrases such as “Ham Sandwich!!!” and “Four!!! You didn’t go 1, 2, 3, 4!!!” all night long. I am pretty sure I was not that annoying as a freshman in high school?°¦right??? The long and short of it is these guys need to stop worshipping Less Than Jake and start getting some Lords records?°¦fast.

Forest Fire has never played horribly, and whenever I see them they get better and better. Their guitarist was out of town, so they had a replacement named Sean who managed to be a stellar replacement on guitar. I would describe them as Gorilla Biscuits and Minor Threat meets the Suicide Machines in both the hardcore and ska parts of that band (RIP). They played a solid set in which their singer Erik got into the crowd to stir up some excitement among the people who were coming after getting off of work. They handed out 3-song samplers of their CD, which is to be released soon. Check out the song Rice Patty about the aforementioned punk rock grandma here. They are awesome dudes who, sadly, because of bad attendance had to pay the bands out of their own pocket. Definitely check them out; their new record Steal Things! is really good.

New Mexican Disaster Squad was up next. Having heard other stuff off of their previous releases I was totally psyched. They set up pretty fast while I talked to other bands and folks about the burgeoning Louisville hardcore scene and the fact that Pusher owns Young Widows. Never mind that, pay attention to this next bit. New Mexican Disaster squad fucking ripped. They started their set without pretentious opening music and pleaded for the crowd to come closer while they played: we obliged. I was amazed at their set. I only know a few songs that they play, but I do know that they played “Tightrope” and it was total insanity. They talked it up with Lords while they were on stage, referring drunkenly to themselves as the New Sexican Disaster Squad from Borelando, Florida. It was really fun and many of us could not see Lords even rivaling the performance that NMDS had just called one of their best on this tour and about 5th best ever in their history as a band?°¦wow. Little did we know, but Lords would make us rethink that comment.

Lords have a setup that is totally insane (though not really far off the norm for other Louisville bands, i.e. Breather Resist). They have their amps and then they have these (it is difficult to explain because I am so naïve about musical equipment) sort of plug-in amps that just amplify sound and have no knobs. They moved the drum set into the middle of the stage and placed this huge wall of sound behind them. They played the most intense live music I have ever heard. They played 4 songs, one of which was “Stigmata Rites,” and then called for the guys from New Mexican Disaster Squad to come and join us concert-goers at the front. They then called for the lead singer from NMDS (Sam) to join them on stage. They proceeded to tear through “Gimme Gimme Gimme” by Black Flag, which included a lot of giving the mic to the crowd. I was so psyched. Then when Sam left the stage, the lead singer of Lords (Chris) called on the crowd to join him on the stage for the remainder of the set. When the first person went on the stage the rest of our stage fright went away and we jumped on. I asked them to play “Mouth to Mouth” and they happily obliged. Then we all banged our heads and shook our fists for the remaining 20 or so minutes left over in their set. We writhed and moved around and had a fucking amazing time.

I will never forget this show. I consider it my first real “hardcore” show as I listen to all these bands but never had the balls to attend. Lords was truly amazing and so was NMDS. Easily the best show I have been to ever…

Lords [I]Swords[/I] Review

"Note: If you’re not a fan of hardcore, don’t read this. Lords is not a band that can ?°»introduce’ you to hardcore, and you won’t like album. At all.
Somewhere on my computer is a half-written review of Swords – it decided to play hide and seek, and I couldn’t find it. I yelled olly-olly-occent-free, or however you spell that, but it didn’t come out.

It makes me sad, because Lords is the type of band that is to be experienced, not analyzed, and my initial experience listening to Swords produced much more material than my later analysis of it (which is what you’re reading now). Lords is the type of hardcore-meets-punk band that can blaze through 13 tracks in 20 minutes and keep your attention for every second of it. There’s straight hardcore here (“She is the Last”) and something that comes close to punk (opener “Stigmata Rites”), but mostly the band mixes the frenetic strumming of punk guitars with the ear-shattering heaviness of hardcore guitars, accented by furious punk drumming and hardcore scream/yelling. It’s a true punk-hardcore mix, alright. It’s not punk and hardcore interchangeably. This is punk and hardcore in a blender. That’s pretty much the formula with every song, but these guys never keep any song around long enough for the formula to get old.

And it burns just like a great punk-hardcore band should. These guys don’t deal in clichés; Swords is an album that will make you believe in the creativity of hardcore again. It’s an extremely fractured, pounding album that never lets up. If you’re a fan of hardcore, there is no excuse you can give me that would allow you to not get this disc. I can’t really say much more about Swords other than listen to it fully the first time. It’s a pretty intense experience."


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Louisville’s punk powerhouse LORDS are gearing up for their first ever European tour. The boys will be strutting some serious Hessian Aggression along with fellow Kentuckians as they begin their trek across the globe on February 10th.


2/16 Leverkusen (D), TBA
2/17 Esslingen (D), Komma
2/18 Braunschweig (D), Nexus
2/19 Ham (B), Fest @ De Zille
2/20 Hamburg (D), Hafenklang
2/21 Aalborg (DK), 1000 Fryd
2/22 Gothenburg (S), TBA
2/23 Västeras (S), Växthuset
2/24 Örebro (S), TBA
2/25 Stockholm (S), Fritz Corner @ Debaser
2/26 Lund (S), TBA
2/27 Berlin, Wild At Heart
2/28 Wien (A), Arena
3/01 Nürnberg, K4
3/02 München, Kafe Kult
3/03 Prag (CZ), Klub 007
3/04 Esch (LUX), Out Of The Crowd-Fest @ Kulturfabrik
3/05 London (GB), Underworld (all ages, 4 pm)
3/05 London (GB), Underworld (18+, 8 pm)
3/06 Bristol (GB), The Croft
3/07 Leeds (GB), Joseph’s Well
3/08 Nottingham (GB), TBA
3/09 Manchester (GB), Satans Hollow
3/10 Cean,(F), Bar La Place
3/11 Paris (F), Café De La Plage
3/12 Bordeaux (F), Heretic
3/13 Toulouse (F), TBA
3/14 Lyon (F), TBA
3/15 Genava (CH), Le Kab
3/16 Milano (I), Leoncavello
3/17 Bolzano (I), Schiarada
3/18 TBA
3/19 Amsterdam (NL), Reflections Fest @ Bitterzoet
*All dates subject to change

For additional information please visit

Drop by the for additional details and updates

Lords [I]Swords[/I] Review

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

Lords [I]Swords[/I] Review

Lords rule. Swords kill. Put them together and you’ve got one murderously oppressive record. On its first full-length outing, this young Kentuckian trio can’t seem to find any difference between the rabid savagery of Void and Venom, but doesn’t mind decimating its laughable metalcore competition in the attempt.

The Comparative Religion of Lords

Perhaps only in the realms of mathematics and religion are conversions so easily admitted. Think about it. How hard would it be for the U.S. to go metric? It can’t be that hard; everybody else is doing it. Or what about Catholicism to Scientology? Come on, we’re talking apples and apples. But try converting a well-informed, opinionated and self-described rock ?°»n’ roll elitist (i.e., your average Pitchfork-reading indiephile) to your new band.

Dianetics anyone?

But the band, Lords, has for the better part of two years has been doing just that. Hailing from Louisville’s prominent underground music scene, Lords has released two albums, been touring for the majority of their existence and kept busy converting new fans with their own vicious brand of anything-but-straightforward heavy rock.

Their first full-length, Swords, out on Jade Tree, is a manic hybridization of punk, hardcore, and metal—an impossibly massive-sounding opus to the potential of visceral, abrasive and all around really fuckin’ loud music. The band’s ability to eschew categorization, while heralding what feels like an enlightenment era in heavy music, explains the appeal to listeners outside that scene.

Regarding their sound, however, singer and guitarist Chris Owens offers anything but hubris. As he revealed to me after a scathing show at Portland, Ore. bar Sabalas : “Let it be said on the record that what we do is not new. It’s been done so many times before us.” Owens himself has been playing in bands for ten years, and with drummer Stan Doll since 2000. Lords actually evolved from an earlier Louisville group, The Slow Suicide, which included Kevin Sacks of National Acrobat. After Sacks left the band, Steve George (also of Louisville’s National Acrobat) and Billy Bisig joined briefly, and Lords was born. By spring 2003, Owens and Doll found themselves pared back down to a two-piece. They recorded and produced their debut E.P., The House That Lords Built (on now-defunct Initial Records), which Doll also created the art for. Doll and Owens have since played with a number of bassists. Their current lineup includes Tony Bailey.

As Owens, articulate and amiable — somewhat surprising considering what kind of meat-ripping goes on onstage — describes the band’s influences, he casts a wide net — many from their hometown.

“My biggest single influence right now is Kinghorse. They were all about making this intense and furious, yet incredibly intelligent, music. That’s sort of what I’ve been trying to do with Lords.”

Along with Kinghorse, Owens adds Louisville’s math rock progenitors, Slint, and the legendary band evergreen to that foundation. Since the release of The House That Lords Built, critics have assigned their spiritual ancestry to plenty of big-name hardcore and metal forefathers, from Black Flag to Black Sabbath. But if this is the new Sabbath, it’s Sabbath on Androstene.

The newly released Swords plays as a tutorial in maddeningly elaborate riffing percussive brutality. Though temporally lightweight (thirteen tracks in twenty minutes), the album offers no breathers and few moments requiring casual attention. The opening salvo, Stigmata Rites, makes it immediately apparent Lords is a formidable band, blending increasingly complex arrangements with an immediacy and muscularity reminiscent of ?°»80’s punk, metal and anything speedy. Tracks like Lift High the Mighty Throne and She Is the Last slow things down a bit (for roughly one minute), as Doll’s drumming stamps out a concussive time signature into Owen’s fitted grooves. (Matt Jaha, former drummer of Coliseum and Black Cross, also shows up playing bass on several tracks.) Everywhere else on the album, the trio pretty much go totally apeshit, albeit apeshit with a measure of precision, a seeming dichotomy that ultimately leaves a messy exit wound on each side of the listener’s head.

Alongside Swords, Lords will continue to rupture eardrums and make converts out of the uninitiated at their loud-as-hell live shows. They’ll be touring the East Coast and Europe this fall. Consider yourself warned.

Lords [I]Swords[/I] Review: "The Rebirth of Extreme Cool"

Nice to see Louisville, KY picking up the emocore banner, heavy as the Iwo Jima flag and languishing for years as the proverbial Kids Today labor under the impression that emo begins and ends with the Promise Ring (or the Blood Brothers, for that matter). Emocore used to mean Nation of Ulysses, hose.got.cable, Hoover, Shotmaker and all those other acts on Old Glory Records. Those motherfuckers screamed liked they were on fire, their SGs moaned accordingly and the late, lamented Number Two was the fanzine to read. (Keith Werwa, where are you?) Do you remember when? Yeah, so do I.

Anyway, speaking of Promise Ring, this monster is on the label that made those cats famous, and along with fellow Louisvillian anvil-heavy emo revivalists Breather Resist (who took their name from a Hoover song), Lords seem to be a brutal atonement for years of lite emo Jade Tree gave us. Chris Owens’ growl ?°»n’ howl delivers like Domino’s, his guitar gouging sharp, nasty cuts into the songs. Their trio-ness is somehow refreshing—no need for a singer who can’t pull his instrumental weight here. Swords is pure blasting cap-core, a sitcom length clobber that drop-kicks you into ’93 while pulling you back to the here-and-now of sweaty basement shows and scenes that never, ever die.

Lords [I]Swords[/I] Review

Seeing Lords was one of my more pleasant live music surprises of the last year. I went to see Iowa hardcore band Modern Life is War play an acoustically-challenged classroom at DePaul University and Lords was second-billed on the show, following three generic Chicago area hardcore bands. The crowd did not share my low opinion of the first three bands, tearing it up in the pit hard-style for each predictable breakdown and shout-along chorus. There was a bit of a break before Lords took the stage because they had to load in and set up their impressive arsenal of vintage amps. Most of the crowd went into the hallway to avoid the heat of the crowded windowless classroom. Once the three-piece began their set of their complex but grooving time-shifty amalgamation of hardcore, classic rock, and the Keelhaul/Craw school of tech-metal, they drew a lot of blank stares from a lot of confused hardcore kids. A few of them even walked out as I stood there with my jaw figuratively on the floor and my head literally banging. These guys rocked hard and loud.

I picked up their Jade Tree debut and second overall release Swords after the show. Could they contain the fury of the live show—which felt like it truly depended on the sheer volume of the music—in the studio? They could, but only partially. The record blasts through thirteen songs in less than twenty minutes and barely allows the listener to come up for air, so the urgency of the live performance is there, but the guitar and bass tone don’t quite capture the power they had in the live setting. The vocals are mainly throaty barks, but the rare gruff melodic line occasionally makes an appearance, and the vocals are more effective on the album than they were piped through the substandard PA in the DePaul classroom. “Stigmata Rites,” the first track on the album, barges out of the gate like a band that has been rocking for years but finally got the time-change thing under control. They mess around with timing, but not as much as some of their peers. What really sets Lords apart from bands like more tech-oriented bands like PsyOpus or Ion Dissonance is that Lords never lose sight of the groove or write tech parts just to complicate a song. This album sounds like the kind of record a younger and more pissed-off Unsane would make if they tried to play oddly arranged Ted Nugent songs at double the tempo.

The artwork and layout for the release look great and match the feel of the music—chaotic and dirty but with a sense of humor. The art merges imagery of playing card faces with religious icons (and a few knight-ninjas with wings thrown in to keep things interesting.) I have to mention, though, that the album title is a bit misleading. These songs do not cut like swords; I think a blunt object or perhaps some sort of spiked mace or large hammer is a much more apt comparison. If any kind of music sounded like a sword attack, it’d be the sharp metal riffs of bands like Behemoth or maybe Cryptopsy. While I don’t feel sliced by Lords, I can definitely imagine getting pummeled to the beat of the less-frenetic parts of “Talking Whip” or “Slow and Stupid” from Swords.

That’s probably the highest praise I can give Swords. While it doesn’t quite live up to the extremely high standard set by their live show, it really succeeds in feeling like a remorseless auditory beatdown, which is probably what Lords was setting out to accomplish.

Lords [I]Swords[/I] Review

This is what I want punk be. This is what any band that is definitely doing their own thing with their roots as disparate as Black Flag, KARP, Thin Lizzy, Megadeth, and Excelsior all colliding together ought to look up to. With one foot steeped in San Diego’s mid-90′s spazzcore craze, another in Southern rock, and a hand wiping the polish of the huge Louisville sound on their steel-toed boots Lords present their debut ‘full-length’, a term that should be applied loosely considering this whole thing clocks in at under 20 minutes, but has 13 songs all colliding one into another. The key term here is confusion, with songs racing by quicker than you can take notice, Chris Owen’s voice flailing all over as he uses colorful metaphors and analogies to castles, feudal hardships, and other Middle Ages wording to get his point across. With only three members, walls upon walls of guitar cabinets, blasting songs, and artwork that is part collage, part mind fuckery Lords are really at the top of their game. There is no other band currently that is doing something quite like this and I certainly applaud them for it. It’s quite amazing and you’ll have to give this a few listens before things start to sink in as to how rad this band is. (Jade Tree, www.jadetree.com)

Lords [I]Swords[/I] Review

To be as blunt as three words permit, Lords fucking rips. Sure, I could’ve shortened that to an even simpler combination of two words, but, seriously, Lords fucking rips. There’s no other way to put it. The band’s latest effort, and their Jade Tree debut, Swords, is an unforgiving 20 minutes of rocked out, noisy hardcore punk, and, despite its brevity, there’re enough frantic tempos, screams and guitar riffs to conceivably fulfill anyone’s need for gritty intensity.

Being that Lords is based in Louisville, Kentucky, and most of the current, high-profile bands (Black Cross, Breather Resist, Coliseum) from that city share several qualities, one can gather some ideas as to how this band sounds. Swords is centered on short, to-the-point songs, but Lords also melds a Black Flag-like sense of dissonance and quirkiness, as well as a dirty Southern rock swagger that oddly brings to mind Every Time I Die. While the songs are short, it’s difficult to latch onto most of the guitar riffs and rhythms as they tend to change in a matter of seconds. In the end, though, Lords is all about fuming rage and aggression, and each of Swords’ 13 songs accomplishes some level of damage.

Swords is rooted in hardcore, but it stays far from the relatively typical modern melodies and youth crew traditions. It’s brief, straightforward and simple, but is jam-packed with riffs, tempos and styles. While I’m surely a fan of Lords’ Louisville peers, Swords cements these guys as a top contender. Good stuff.

Lords [I]Swords[/I] Review

I went out to Ethiopian food for the first time a few years ago in San Francisco. The place was tiny, packed full of people and hotter than an oven set to 666. I had never eaten Ethiopian food before, but as a vegan I had eaten cuisine from all over the world and assumed that this would be somewhat similar to at least something like Indian food. So we sit down, a big group of us, and take a look at the menu. Everything looked pretty tasty, and the smell in the air was enough to make the server slip in a pool of my saliva. We ordered, and ate a variety of different things. From pureed lentils to chunky spinach something or other, I ate a little of everything that came on this huge silver platter, everything was delicious. I was satisfied with trying something new and even though each dish was small, each one contained something memorable and packed full of flavor. This album is a lot like that meal. I somewhat knew what to expect coming from a label like Jade Tree, with great artwork by Ryan Patterson (Black Cross, Coliseum) and hailing from Louisville; at the very least I knew it would be good. With only one song hovering over two minutes, these short spastic bursts of hardcore with a definite southern feel are worth every second. If you like From Ashes Rise, Black Cross, Breather Resist or The Bronx this will be for you. I can’t tell you what a relief this record is. Please buy it. While you may not be able to eat it, it will leave you feeling satisfied and ready for more.

Lords [I]Swords[/I] Review

Jade Tree considers the 13 track, 20 minute Swords to be a full-length album — which doesn’t make sense until you listen to it. Anything longer would probably kill whatever goodwill you brought to the album. Lords’ thrash-punk debut will wipe the snot from your nose by jamming your face against the floor. Some folks don’t get into that.

"Slow and Stupid", "Beauty Sleep" and the rest of Swords’ songs are built on a simple, violent framework: Singer Chris Owens channels a slovenly demon from a lower circle of hell — his vocals are more abrasive than his guitar-work, with half-crazed notes, screeches, and groans. Stan Doll beats his drums like an alcoholic dad, delivering a righteous pounding in which sustaining a specific tempo is entirely surplus to requirements. Bassist Tony Bailey plays the thankless role, underscoring Doll and Owens while doing his damndest to stay the hell out of the way.

The songs pile into one another at impressive speed. Each tune sounds so similar to the songs that precede and follow it that you could listen to Swords on "shuffle" for a couple of hours without noticing anything amiss.

Swords isn’t so much an album as a lead-pipe beatdown in musical form. If the idea doesn’t absolutely fascinate you, walk away now.

Lords [I]Swords[/I] Review

Lords – Swords [Jade Tree; 2005] Rating: 7.2

These days the once great divide between musical genres is little more than a crack. There was a time when punk, hardcore, metal, and rock were virtually miles apart. In the 80s, when all of those genres were going strong, the members of each scene treated theirs like a religion, and relating to, borrowing from or, frankly, enjoying any of the others were surefire ways to be subjected to ridicule and scorn. But as the years went on, new bands that sought to revitalize their genre found themselves blending styles. Punk and hardcore bands got faster and heavier until they were sidled right up against thrash and metal acts, who in turn were often turning to the classic rock of the past for renewed inspiration. By the late-90s, it had become commonplace to find longhairs at the punk shows, and mohawks had popped up on the heads of members of everyone from Anthrax to Warrant.

It seems unlikely, then, that a band like Lords could’ve existed in any time other than their own. Had they released Swords 20 years ago, no one would’ve known what to do with it. Black Flag and Metallica fans alike would’ve spun the record, wondering why the time signature changed so much and where the guitar solos were, respectively. Lords’ blitzkrieg approach– this disc crams 13 songs into less than 20 minutes– knows no boundaries, blending the raucous attitude of punk with the speed and fury of thrash, all topped of with the testosterone-and-beer fueled swagger of good, old-fashioned rock.

The band hails from Louisville, known for its thriving punk and hardcore scene, and they made the jump from the long-standing Louisville label Initial Records to Jade Tree for Swords, their sophomore album. But anyone expecting that being label-mates with Pedro the Lion and the Promise Ring may have somehow softened Lords’ approach should think again. Swords is brutal and intense, yet it avoids the darkness-and-gloom baggage that so many heavy bands carry around. In other words, this record is a hell of a lot of fun.

The gates come crashing open with "Stigmata Rite", 1:38 of clobbering drums, wailing guitars and singer Chris Owens’ domineering bark. For the most part, the duration of the disc continues in this unrelenting manner, but there are exceptions that further explore the myriad of influences the band is pulling from. "Watching the Clock" combines verses featuring low-mixed, muted guitar over quick bursts of high- hat, a bridge with rapid-fire, stuttering snare fills and a chorus that boils down to a convoluted barrage of amplified noise. Furthermore, "Lift High the Mighty Throne" takes the band’s usual aggressiveness and throws in a swampy, bluesy swagger.

Comparisons between Lords and other genre-blending metal bands will fall short: Unlike other bands, Lords aren’t content with simply placing verses performed in one style alongside choruses from another, opting instead to throw it all into a menacing, razorblade-filled blender and stomping on the puree button.

Lords [I]Swords[/I] Review

Louisville, Kentucky has been one of the most important cities in punk and hardcore for the better part of the last two decades, arguably contributing more to its continuing evolution than many other cities or even regions combined. Bands like Guilt and Endpoint tested the musical and emotional limits to which hardcore could be taken, while the Brothers Patterson (of Initial Records, Breather Resist, Coliseum, Black Widows, etc. fame) have been responsible for discovering, putting out or playing in just about everything worthwhile for the last ten years. Lords’ Initial Records debut last year turned quite a few heads with the band’s frantic combination of noise and punk into catchy, minute-long bursts, and with Swords, their second album (and first for Jade Tree), Lords have found the perfect fit of production and songwriting to highlight their unique musical approach.

At its most basic, Lords’ music is pure American punk rock, following in the footsteps of the Circle Jerks and Black Flag. However, laid upon that punk foundation are layers of everything from Fugazi to the Pixies to Le Shok. At the heart of nearly every discordant, abrasive track is an up-tempo rock beat, as suitable for dancing as it is for headbanging. Lords have tapped into an energy so fresh and pure that enjoying Swords wasn’t even really a matter of taste or choice; From the first listen, I was hooked. The complete lack of silence or breaks on this record kept me listening the whole way through each time, and its brevity (just over twenty minutes) lent itself to repeat listening.

While I woudn’t tout its variety as one of the strongest points of the album, Lords does mix things up enough in a short period of time to avoid being repetetive. "She Is The Last" slows down to a mid-tempo, which feels about twice as slow by contrast with the rest of the record. Tracks like "Snake It" and "Beauty Sleep" stand out thanks to particularly strong guitar lines. Chris Owens’ control of his voice, whether it be during a pained scream or an animalistic growl, often highlights Lords’ surprisingly good lyrics, particularly on tracks like "Two Lies" and "Curse of Clear Vision."

Bottom Line: I’ve heard dozens of records so far this year and few have grabbed hold of me as quickly and powerfully as Lords’ Swords. Fans of their previous material will be pleased with the band’s growth and first-time listeners honestly can’t know what to expect. With 2005 more than half over, this album is easily one of the year’s best.

OUR RATING – 9 /10

Lords [I]Swords[/I] Review

LORDS are 3 young guys from Louisville (Kentucky) with a marked propension for the mistreatment and the devastation of their instruments, as their Jade Tree debut album witnesses. Oh Lord, the listen of these 13 tracks is leaving me neurotic and schizoprenic as only one anphetamine overdose would.
Take the same chaotic, mind blowing trip of DEP, add some old Converge raucous throaty vocals, mix it with some good old flavoured trash guitar riffage and some punk / rock’n roll savage aggression ranging from Black Flag to Every Time I die and you will have the great, delirating and loathing experience that “Swords” constitutes.
The drugs don’t work but LORDS do.

Lords [I]Swords[/I] Review

The word “explosive” can be used to describe Louisville’s Lords without any hyperbole. Nearly every song on Swords erupts from tight fragments of machine-gun drumming over staggering riffs so fast and winding it sounds as if the whole thing could come crashing down at any second.
This, their first full-length for Jade Tree Records, careens wildly through 13 tracks of the Lords brand of greasy metal and hardcore. With only one song clocking in past the two-minute mark, the trio doesn’t let up the relentless attack until the 10th song, “Talking Whip,” when it slows down to a Blues Explosion-ish creep. Singer/guitarist Chris Owens yelps like a crazed preacher over the whole thing while drummer Stan Doll and bassist Tony Bailey keep the crazy train runnin’ on time.
Sticking with the gospel laid out on previous releases “The House The Lords Built” and “Moral Darkness,” Swords is one of the most lively records of the year, and another notch on Louisville’s metal-studded belt.

Lords [I]Swords[/I] Review

Last year when I got Lords’ initial release on Initial Records in the mail from Punknews, I didn’t know what to expect. I then had my face completely rocked off for the next twelve minutes. I did everything I could to see them live, and I wasn’t disappointed. They have one of the loudest shows I’ve ever seen, with some of the craziest musicianship that doesn’t compromise the overall rock. So when I heard they were releasing a full length, I was properly stoked. A prime example of what I like to think of as the redemption of hardcore and metal, Lords — in my mind — are one of the bands set to save the music industry from becoming mediocre and boring. And let me tell you, Swords doesn’t disappoint.

Blasting through thirteen songs in just under twenty minutes, Swords is a fast, blasting mix of hardcore, punk, and metal without falling into any conventional genre. With crazy stop and go riffs that are all over the place and heavy, intense drums, Lords has created their own distinct sound that apes no one and has yet to be mimicked (probably since they’re such a young band). Time signatures and tempos are thrown around probably just as much as your favorite math-metal band, yet Lords loses nothing from their spectrum of being straightforward rock. Songs are short, ranging from one to two minutes, yet Lords accomplishes so much more in one minute than most bands can in five or six.

The best part of Swords is the growth that is there after the release of The House That Lords Built. No longer is the band afraid to slow down to sludgy metal, and yet they lose none of the momentum they’ve built up. "She Is The Last" takes some from the Melvins’ sludge metal while "Talking Whip" has one of the heaviest breakdowns I’ve ever heard. But just because they’ve embraced slower tempos doesn’t mean they’ve given up on their punk and hardcore heritage.

The album opener, "Stigmata Rites," blazes straight through your ears in one of the most bombastic intros ever. "Slow And Stupid" is anything but. Instead, it’s one of the fastest songs I’ve ever heard that doesn’t rely on the crutch of a double time drum beat. And the rest of the album is just as good.

It’s hard giving an album a ten. It has to be something that will stand the test of time while being inventive and great in all aspects. I fully believe that Swords perfectly encompasses all of these aspects. It’s hard for a band to construct a masterpiece of an album, and to do so in under twenty minutes easily gets my vote for album of the year.


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Lock up your daughters. The Jade Tree debut from LORDS, Swords, hits the streets today and it’s a real burner, perfect for these dog days of summer. Swords combines the “get in the van” urgency of a forgotten era of SST influenced punk rock with an awe-inspiring precision and swagger of late 80’s American thrash metal. The heir apparent to the throne of the resurgent Louisville hardcore scene, LORDS deliver their unique brand of volatile thrash in a blaze of towering riffs, near heretical rants and throttling drums.

Somehow LORDS managed to cram a punishing wall of sound into an inconceivable 13 song, 20 minute long package, which you can now claim as your very own at finer stores everywhere. It’s a torrid and unrelenting assault that will leave a trail of scorched earth in its path. The band will also start delivering the goods in person to the western half of the United States later this week, so make sure not to miss their completely dominant live show.

2. Ringfinger
3. Two Lies
4. She Is The Last
5. Snake It
6. My Kind Live Low
7. Watching the Clock
8. Slow and Stupid
9. Lift High The Mighty Throne
10. Talking Whip
11. Beauty Sleep
12. The Crawl
13. Curse of Clear Vision

Please consult the Lords for current dates.