The Swan King are a Chicago-based trio whose Eyes Like Knives (Seventh Rule) comes out this week (February 22, 2011). Let me describe their music as best as I can. They have that on-the-edge sound that bands like Queens Of The Stone Age and Foo Fighters have, but both of those bands have punk roots which makes it possible for them to explore the limits they create for themselves. Then you have touches of Seaweed and Mudhoney that gives the music a slight Pacific Northwest flair (which in many ways is also rooted in the midwest), while vocalist/guitarist Dallas Thomas sounds like all of them with a pinch of Mike Muir of Suicidal Tendencies. So listen children, what does this all mean?
For one, this is is the kind of hard rock and heavy metal with loads of riffs that show a love of Iron Maiden, which in many ways are rooted in the dual guitar tendencies of the Allman Brothers Band and a lot of Southern rock. If there is a Southern rock influence, then it’s a need to be melodic and write songs with depth and long lasting power, and they don’t do it just to be loud and audibly vulgar. Then you have a track like “Invisible Hands” that has the guitar chugging of early/mid-80′s thrash and speed metal. With lyrics covering the battle of internal vs. external vs. personal power, they present a moment where you want to lift up your hands, form Satanic horns, and say “yes, this is how fucked up my life feels right now, but I can make it if I play this game well”, just as a lot of good metal should feel like.