On Entertainment Is Over if You Want It, Portland, OR's the Swords Project prove they've got the weaponry to win any combat involving artful, conceptual dissonance. The disc's atmospheric and transcendent overtones make it one of the more minimally graceful albums in recent memory. After the brief opening instrumental, the pulsating "City Life" breathes life into the album's simple beginnings, setting the atmosphere for the disjointed tones yet to come. On "Cocktails and Shuttlecocks," singer Corey Ficken's gentle vocals compete for the listener's attention with a swarm of layered eerie prog-like chords. On each track, the six bandmembers -- drummer Joey Ficken, guitarists Jeffrey Gardner and Ryan Stowe, and multi-instrumentalists Evan Railton and Liza Reitz -- join forces to create an oblique sound, always offering up unique variations to the normal verse-chorus-verse routine, as well as rallying against any instrumental clichés. The blips and bleeps of "Audience of One" unite to form the foundation of one of the disc's most mesmerizing efforts. The gentle violin on "Immigracion" and subtle electronics on the album closer, "New Shapes," prove the band worthy of acclaim in the world of ardently experimental indie rock, proving that less is often more in the emotional roller coaster of rock & roll. The warm, thoughtful tones throughout Entertainment Is Over if You Want It makes it a solid full-length debut. Arena Rock Recording Company released the disc in 2003.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Stephen Cramer