In what is probably the shortest LP of all time the ten-song, sub-15 minute disc put out by this Louisville band is hard hitting but suffers from awkward splits in the track. The entire disc feels as if it was just broken up from one extended track, and the screaming, noise-punk of Lords feels as if the band focused on one specific moment and went with it. The sizzling guitars that weave themselves throughout “The House That Lords Built” provide another vocal presence that lay themselves over the lower-toned vocals. Each track is a direct line from point A to point B, which says a lot for the band, Feeling that they have accomplished a goal in each 1:30 song, the band never really stops for introspection. The tracks, even if “The House That Lords Built” flies in near fifteen minutes, tend to mesh themselves together to the point of not being able to figure out exactly where one is at on the disc. “Dead End Idea” includes one of the brief high points during “The House That Lords Built”, relying on much more classic metal guitar lines to provide a sense of urgency that the rest of the tracks don’t seem to have.
Where everything about “The House That Lords Built” seem to scream that this should be a good album – the fact that it is on Initial, the influences (Black Flag, Venom), the extremely short and pointed songs, the sheer fact is that album is a chronic underachiever. A solid band, the first problem comes into focus when each band member doesn’t seem to synch themselves up, resulting in a jarring, slightly disoriented sound. Trying to navigate a path between the punk of early hardcore bands like Sick of It All and the aforementioned Black Flag and the noise of bands like The Locust, Lightning Bolt, and Neon Hunk seems like a solid idea, making sure to enjoy support from each group. However, The Lords cannot reconciliate the two whole-heartedly different genres on this disc.
The place where Lords find themselves most strong is “On”, a track which follows one specific genre (metal) and works within the confines of it. Soaring high with a guitar solo that would make Dimebag Darrell drool, the band seems much more coherent when a clear set of guidelines are laid down. Perhaps if some sort of polarization towards having more specific tracks happened on Lords’ next ablum, the offering my as a whole be more solid.
Top Track: On
Lords – The House That Lords Built / 2004 Initial Records / 9 Tracks / http://www.lordsoflouisville.com / http://www.initialrecords.com / Reviewed 14 October 2004