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Album Review: The 57s - 3 Of Swords
Local rockers up the ante with rambunctious release.

Claiming to be sired in “the blue-collar back alleys of Milwaukee,” local rockers The 57s carry with them a certain sense of brash bravado. With claims of playing “a breed of rock and roll that’s distinctly their own” and a band bio bragging that its songs play like “the way rock and roll was meant to sound,” The 57s have been shouldered with a self-assigned task of sonically matching its lofty claims with its new EP 3 Of Swords. And while the six-song, 18-minute effort fails to corroborate the tall boasts the band makes, the release is consistent with the bold and fearless cast that made the claims.

Serving as a follow-up to the band’s rambunctious 2010 release Sky Burial, 3 Of Swords ups the ante with a hastened pace and a contained cockiness only hinted at in its debut. A blistering guitar solo of title track “3 Of Swords” launches the EP into motion before quickly giving way to the rock-solid and unfettered vocals of certified front man West Goad. Goad’s chops behind the microphone stand out on 3 Of Swords, bending and squealing to the whims of each song and strung together by chunky guitar solos.

Landing somewhere between Jet and AFI and with a dash of flare all its own, The 57s manages a raucous and rowdy release that incorporates a heft of garage-rock influences with a touch of surf rock (“Blame It On Your Instincts”) and horror punk (“Another Game We Play” and “It Could’ve Been Anyone”) here and there for good measure. While the songs themselves – a sextuplet of adeptly executed two- to four-minute-long recipes – don’t strike out into particularly unexplored territory, each song on 3 Of Swords presents a fun, accessible and toe-tapping soundtrack befitting of any drunken night in any dingy rock club in Anytown, USA.

The 57s will release 3 Of Hearts Saturday at Riverwest Public House, bookended by opener The Jones Island Flood and headliner Resist Her Transistor. The show starts at 9 p.m. and costs $5. Stream 3 Of Swords or download it for $5 at The 57s’ Bandcamp page.

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