Pink Swords

Shut Up & Take It!

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Any band that's gonna name itself the Pink Swords is likely to be pretty short on subtlety, and the Texas five-piece's second album, Shut Up & Take It!, doesn't go by half measures -- this is fast, raw, and raunchy punk rock that's long on guitar firepower and short on the whole emotional sensitivity thing. Then again, with titles like "Drop Dead," "Crybaby," and "Tough Shit," you probably could have figured that out on your own. If you're looking for a slab of post-Dwarves smash-it-up, Shut Up & Take It! will fill the bill, though Dana Fehr's production lets the band down just a bit -- the playing is tight, the guitars are cranked, and Pits M. Gaffer's vocals offer up plenty of snarl, but this never sounds quite as loud or dirty as it needs to, and the drums really need more ka-boom to make the most of stuff like "Ode to Mama," "No Rock n' Roll," and "F.U.W.S." The Pink Swords are good enough at what they do, but they also aren't offering anything all that new or original, so it behooves them to mind the details in the studio, and that keeps Shut Up & Take It! from connecting as hard as it should. But at 23:23, you sure can't accuse them of wasting anyone's time with this one.

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