The Sword and The Stoned

The Sword and The Stoned

“Don’t Get Too Comfortable” is the name of a track emerging halfway through the Sword’s sixth full-length studio album, Used Future, and though the song itself is a hazy, riff-laden dip in which bandleader J.D. Cronise muses about the dystopian future of our increasingly less green planet, it might also be a warning to the group’s longtime fans that this record represents another step forward in the group ’s march away from metal.

Since that time, the Sword have evolved to challenging & rsquo; rsquo & n rockers of this order that walked the earth or, given the speed at which culture metamorphoses, eons ago.

In short, the boys of this decade are now the men of the bleak present, and they no longer have to look to Philip K. Dick to extract–for inspiration and for lyrical content–horrors of this kind now looming on our event horizon. Lyrically, their most recent release touches on ground, loneliness and mortality ’s expanding all in language, desertscape as colorful and evocative as that of their attempts. It marries analog synths worthy of John Carpenter or Tangerine Dream with enormous Led Zeppelin riffs and scorching, ZZ Top–style licks to yield rockers rich with flange and distortion, interspersed with dreamierexplorations.

“We finally seem like ourselves,” enthuses guitarist Kyle Shutt, talking with High Times on the phone from Austin, the group ’s hometown, where they are just about to kick off the first leg of a three-month US tour. “Like the best rock band! ” producer Tucker Martine, known for his work is credited, in part, by him. In favor of this analog, the band experimented and forswore the electronic whenever possible, with Martine. This took time–Shutt remembers wrestling with an arpeggiator for hours–but it was worth it: The results are warm and crackly. “I swear I could hear the guitar sounds melting to rdquo, & tape ; Shutt says, laughing.

The band recorded stepping outside to toke, so as to not damage the delicate recording equipment. All members of the Sword smoke weed. Shutt prefers to roll his joints, old-school style. “& rdquo, newspapers and Just blossoms; he says, waving off the bells and whistles of modern technology. He draws on the line at dabbing: “Seven grams of THC in 1 hit–no thanks. That’s rsquo & a man;s game! ”

Though weed figures in both the group ’s lyrics and its movies (check out the Nintendo-style vid for Used Future’s title track), the band had a special chance to make their love of the plant public. “We played in Denver the night weed was legalized in Colorado,” Shutt recalls. We moved & ldquo & rdquo; and offstage;came back on for the encore each smoking out of a glass bong. We held them up and got the crowd response we’ve! ”

Bonus Track: Plain Concerning the Strain

To date, the Sword have a beer, a hot sauce and a BMX bike named after them (drummer Jimmy Vela is a longtime rider); when High Times asks Shutt if the band would consider lending their moniker to a strain of weed, his answer is unequivocal. “Yes,” he says spiritedly. Take note!

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