Saturday, January 21, 2012

X-Ray Press - UVB-76 (2011)

The moment that you stop caring what a group sounds like and give in to the album that the band has presented you with is when everything comes into focus. Most math-rock fails utterly in this respect, throwing a series of exercises in instrumental prowess flecked with heart pulls. That is what we except as a great math album but it doesn't have to be this way. X-Ray Press gives us an alternative. The album as a whole is dangerously brilliant and sequenced better than i've seen a group tackle in a long spell. The obvious question and one I really wanted to distance myself from was tagging this. This is a great rock album updated for 2011 to appeal in an impressive way to those that enjoy unique instrumentation and tasteful vocals. (my answer)  The answer you likely want is that this sounds like progressive post-punk math rock blanketed with a disjointed 90's indie rock bent.  I feel like this tag really cheapens what these guys have going but if you needed that then there it is.  The guitars and keyboards are frequently distorted and from song to song take great joy in never settling for any specific style.  You can tell there is a deep love of prog going down but stripped of straight up technicality and pomp help this go down smooth. The ensuing jagged structures are made tuneful with the help of really great vocals.  In the end its hard exactly to tell who's doing the coolest thing in a song. I strongly urge everyone to take the time and sit with these all the way through. I feel like a lot of times im guilty of blasting through so much music that you really miss those groups that are trying to get you to sit and take in their story.  My ears are all yours X-Ray Press. I suggested you all do some ear lending as well.

UVB-76 (2011)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Valerian Swings - A Sailor Lost Around the Earth (2011)

Sometimes you know instantly when a band is going to fill you with sweet joy.  From the opening few seconds of "Dr. Pengle is There" from Valerian Swings 2011 release, there was no doubt that entered my head that this would be anything less than stunning. The excellently named group are from Italy and you can expect a lot from them over the course of "A Sailor Lost Around the Earth". While a lot of other bands wear their genre's on their sleeves this trio make it a bit trickier. A group with an equal love of progressive rock, psychedelic rock, jazz,  metal, post-rock, and mathcore.  Blend on high.  Throughout the album you just wont care what your hearing because its always so well crafted. Vocals occasionally make a nice appearence as well. This is just an album that begs you to sit down and soak up because it's just that incredible. Wonderful song structures as well that always flow from one great idea to another. Driving to soft and Hard hitting to calm, never missing a beat or your interest.

A Sailor Lost Around the Earth (2011)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Invalids - Eunoia (2012)

Let the math pour over you in the name of the fa.....Oh! Hi how's everyone doing? I was actually just dropping in to post about Invalids (Pete Davis on everything except Nick Shaw on bass) because well its flipping amazing.This is Math Rock, something we never speak about at the Swords but hear me out. The unique part of this whole one man bandish group is that you can tell it is the vision of one person. Meaning that you can up the time bending quotient by about 1200. This is tech as a tiger if your wondering in every manner of instrument. Guitars are known to get a bit tap happy while the drums are jazzing the junk out with the bass. Vocals actually make a prominent spot here too. Think a kind of emo style but not super annoying. Thankfully nothing ever feels like any one element is competing for space which with music like this youd imagine there could be issue.  For an EP and a side project your going to be hard pressed to find something better so far this 2012.

Lastly let me close by saying:


First Post: Cutting Pink With Knives

Hey all, new contributor on the blog here, I figured I'd kick it off with one of my favorite bands, the UK's own Cutting Pink With Knives. They were around from 2004 until 2008, and did some of the most inventive techno-grind I've ever heard. When I first heard them it reminded me of Genghis Tron but a lot sillier (mostly because both bands use drum machines). They started out as a relatively one-dimensional drum machine grind band, but as time went on they incorporated more synths and major chords/chord patterns into their songwriting. Their third and last album, Populuxxe, is near-perfect; I can't think of an album that mixes the heaviness of grindcore with poppy dance music with over-the-top guitar lead lines better than this.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Please Join us on the Facebook!

Listen, I wanted to interrupt the normal flow of the blog to urge everyone reading to click below and follow us on the old Facebook:

Plenty of Swords

Why? well its an equal opportunity for everyone to post video's, talk about how much we dont/do like "insert band name", band suggestions, ect. This creates a looser and more fun environment where extra content and sharing come into play.

Also because it wouldn't be fair to have everyone read my 30 seconds of promoting (its for you own good) I have also included a link below in the comments to an extra awesome album.

You can thank me later and thank you for reading.

Fish Tank - Henry


Excuse my outburst fellows and fellows ettes, in keeping up with my obvious love for UK bred math rock.indie pop hybrid beasts (Tangled Hair, Colour, Pharoahs so on and so forth) is Fish Tank. This three piece have dropped on us an EP that eats like a meal or an LP (your choice). Giant sized rock outs, wonderful breakdowns, sing alongs, awesome vox, tapping, keyboards, horns? check. These boys are not afraid to jam heavy on a great chorus or conversely rip through a couple time signatures with some guitar acrobatics. Make no mistake though this stuff will get caught in your dome. It seems as though a full length is to come rather soon and I can't help but be on my chair about it.  Criminal that they aren't more talked up because they are a sight better than a lot of this "sensitive math with strong guitars".

Pro-tip: Hand claps in a song =  + 5 to crushing brilliance