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.