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September 26, 2005

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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.

Splendid Ezine

Tyson Lynn