Pink Swords

One Night High (Mortville)

Phases and Stages

Pink Swords

One Night High (Mortville) Imagine being zipped into a sleeping bag full of mosquitoes and tossed down a flight of stairs. That's the quick-strike dynamic driving this meaty punk rock treatise from Austin's Pink Swords. The 12 songs on One Night High are deftly sequenced right up against each other, giving them a collective intensity not unlike a vintage Ali rope-a-dope fusillade. Guitarists Stinky Ray Von and Dirty Steve Sanchez weave recklessly through the local quintet's hairpin changes, raising the energy level exponentially from what you'd get if horn-dog stink bombs like "Enter You" and "Daddy's Baby" were performed by a one-guitar band. Vocalist Pitts Gaffer sings like a proud graduate of the Darby Crash/Blag Jesus school, emphasizing emotion over enunciation and taunting the listener to just try and shut him up. Gaffer really shines on "Tonite," a cathartic simulacrum of succumbing to the f-bomb in a hail of unflattering two-minute man grunts. Too many recordings of this stratum leave you with the sense that what you're hearing would sound much better live, but One Night High is a sonically solid offering that stands on its own. Much like their Denton compatriots the Riverboat Gamblers, the Pink Swords' twin-guitar-powered refusal to slow down even for a second goes a long way toward giving that middle finger some staying power.

****

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