(2010, Olde English Spelling Bee)
RIYL = Gang Gang Dance, Talk Talk/Portishead trudging through a backwater swamp
The tonal ecstasy of Forest Swords debut LP, Dagger Paths, is elusive. I missed it on my first listen by too quickly assuming Forest Swords to be another in the constant strain of weirdo noise-drone-krautrock that seems to have potential but then ends up going nowhere. I don’t want you to make the same mistake. Forest Swords is different. Dagger Paths isn’t some random collection of drugged-out improvisations, its heavy mood is achieved through careful layering and structured arcs. Dagger Paths is beguiling in the way in which it causes you to let your guard down. The music’s heavy, luxurious tones sink you into the ground before you know what’s become of your body from the neck down. The album requires (and deserves) your attention, meandering languorously in mid-ankle muck and grime. Some damp forest. The lounging low end bass, and jangling loops are a front. You feel isolated, but the reality is you’re surrounded by natives, their pulsing drums, and they want your skull. Forest Swords is deadly efficient and muggy blissful. A seriously wonderful, lurking record that adds hints of dub into the world of psych noise with amazingly satisfying results. So good.