The Pink Swords

SXSW Live Shots

SXSW Live Shots
Photo By John Anderson

The Pink Swords

Beerland, Wednesday, March 17 At first blush, the Pink Swords are punk rock band No. 29,372, straight from the 1981 model. You know the drill, charging through medium-fast riffage, singer barking like a rabid Rottweiler on a short chain. Austin's Swords are head and shoulders above the pack, more rock than punk, with longer songs, actual guitar solos, and the occasional nod to Seventies FM. More importantly, the Swords can play, stopping on a dime and executing breakneck changes, singer Pits Gaffer jumping about like Fred Astaire with a red-hot coat hanger jammed down the back of his trousers. Guitarist Stinkray Von, possessed of a really harsh and brutal guitar sound, throws in a lead squiggle now and then, but never anything that would get him accused of being a guitar hero. Songs like "Shit on You" and "Bathroom Stall" aren't very nice, but the band is having a good time doing them, as opposed to all the bands that are pissed, but you're not sure what about. It's the rock equivalent of raking the crowd with submachine gunfire, minus all the blood and dead bodies. It's enough to make even the old and jaded want to pick up a guitar and wage war with it. Right about when you thought this kind of stuff was yesterday's news, a band like this beats you over the head with the punk stick and makes it real again. We've hit a strange period in rock history when nothing goes completely out of style, and a band like the Pink Swords – awash in a spew of sweat, Lone Star, and PBR – are punk as hell, and they mean it. "Attitude? We don't give a shit what you think!" Damn straight.

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