Pin It
Favorite

Keep it Cool 

Headbanger ≠ Mosher

click to enlarge The Sword would prefer you don\'t mosh at their upcoming show.
  • The Sword would prefer you don\'t mosh at their upcoming show.

For the past decade, The Sword has stroked the happy place of heshers around the globe who were reared on Black Sabbath and Blue Cheer records.

Like the balance that Ozzy and Dio struck decades before them, the Austin, Texas, outfit has never been one to launch a full-on aural assault on the eardrums of its fanbase. That’s not to say they aren’t heavy and loud — they most definitely are. But The Sword pairs thick, heavy riffs with noodling guitar solos and the clean, easy, melodic vocals of the band’s leader, J.D. Cronise. He never screams, never squeals, and the music always just rides along behind him, cool as can be.

The Sword makes heavy rock reminiscent of surf vans parked along the boardwalk, sandy beach bonfires and sixers of cheap beer. And if you didn’t know any better, from the sound of them you might even think The Sword was a band your Dad used to listen to on vinyl way back when.

But not everyone sees the band that way. The Sword has found that people like to raise hell at their shows as they might at a Slayer or Mastodon show, forming giant, undulating circle pits of kicking, shoving and general freaking out. Pretty standard stuff for heavy music, but Cronise doesn’t like it.

“When I hear ‘Battery’ by Metallica, my instinct is not to put my head down, run in a circle and shove people around me,” he explained to Decibel last year. “That to me seems bizarre and kind of silly. When other people hear songs like that, that is what their instinct is to do. To me, that takes away from a musical performance when there’s accomplished, talented musicians onstage performing songs for you; to engage in this totally unrelated physical activity to me is disrespectful, in a way, to the rest of the audience that doesn’t want to do that”

To some fans, Cronise was committing heresy, instructing them how to react to music and showing a lack of understanding of the brotherly code of the pit — that if someone falls, you pick them up. Online commenters freaked: taking moshing out of metal is like taking fighting out of hockey.

But Cronise sees his band differently. They’re making music that’s intended for the pre-mosh era.

“Personally, I love when it’s just a sea of banging heads. That’s what I love to see more than anything,” he said in the same interview. “I wish I had a time machine and could go back and stop the first mosh pit from ever happening at a heavy metal show. The age before that happened that was the golden era.”

The Sword with Castle and American Sharks • Tues, Aug. 6, at 7 pm • The Center • 6425 N. Lidgerwood St. • $15 • All-ages • thecenterofspokane.com • 433-7328

Tags:

  • Pin It

Latest in Music

  • Magic in Six Strings
  • Magic in Six Strings

    The story of Sir Richard Bishop, an old guitar and Tangier Sessions
    • Mar 25, 2015
  • Clear Skies Ahead
  • Clear Skies Ahead

    Joe Pug slayed some demons making his new album and his music is better for it
    • Mar 25, 2015
  • Ride It Out
  • Ride It Out

    Rough Congress hasn't played a show in two years, but that doesn't mean they broke up
    • Mar 18, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Leah Sottile

  • Imaginary Friends
  • Imaginary Friends

    The very real role that fantasy plays in our everyday lives
    • Aug 13, 2014
  • Expert Advice
  • Expert Advice

    Dab? Vape? Indica? Sativa? A few tips for beginners
    • Jul 9, 2014
  • In the Veginning
  • In the Veginning

    At the first Spokane VegFest, you'll get a bellyful, not an earful
    • Jun 18, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Road Goes On Forever

    Widespread Panic's never-ending tour stops in Spokane for the first time since 1999
    • Mar 11, 2015
  • More »

Top Tags in
Music & Film

Music


Film


Hip-hop


Indie Rock


Review


© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation