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April 15, 2010

Blog review of ‘City of Oblivion’ by The Roman Games Diary

Review of ‘City of Oblivion’ by Swiss journalist, rock musician, gadfly and bon vivant Roman Elsener on his blog, the Roman Games Diary:

“Saturday, April 10, 2010

The City of Oblivion: Anton Sword in the light

Rocking out in the light: Anton Sword

The Anton Sword Trio will take on the Small Beast again on Monday night, so it’s high time to tell you about the City of Oblivion, the new CD and easily his best work so far, aided by the creative craftsmanship of his band, the We Ours. Let’s take it track by track, and then you come out Monday and enjoy the songs live.Jar of Gin: A mellow opener, setting the mood: Get out of the basement and step into the light. Sword did himself the favor and moved from the basement to one of the nicest roofs in Williamsburg, his album does the same for his music. It tenderly sparkles and shines and reflects all the love Anton puts into it.City of Oblivion: I like the voice on this, reminds me of Marc Bolan with just a little bit more melancholy. Great dark noises towards the end. A fitting title track that somehow represents the mood for the whole album: The lonely fighter has found his inner strength to face the demons. Great backing vocals, and look who it is: the unique Kerry Kennedy making a guest appearance.

Like Your Mind: Powerful tune, a melody that sticks in your head and should be picked up for a TV spot for computers, smart phones, or broadcasters, anything. Again, very T-Rexy, easily the radio hit, too, so you should probably make this into a video.

The Lawn: Great intro and an interesting composition. Don’t like the sexy imagery – swan and lawn and magic wand…huh? Would like this more as an instrumental with just the late beach boys-y chorus “the lawn…”

Contaminated: Interesting production, somehow the synth brings out the contamination…the infection. The singing is great on this, the build up towards the end fascinatingly crazy.

Listening: Nice ballad, great atmosphere, story and music go well together.

Sandwich: Love the powerful wall of guitars and droning echoes and sounds, sonically very impressive, with nicely understated singing in the verses.

Anybody (The Glove): Another one for the radio, waiting for the big break through, which is beautifully accomplished by the great guitar duel halfway through the song.

Nowhere: Funky outdoor soft porn music from the 70’s or the 80’s. I can see them shagging in the cornfield, until our singer enters through the back room and spoils it by lamenting loneliness and the tragic loss of dreams…again.

Gone: A great song, which sounds amazing even through the speakers of my computer. I don’t get the lyrics, though, no idea what will be gone, but I like the melody and structure.

The Astronomer’s Lullaby: Beautiful harmonies, bowiesque, romantic, psychedelic glam – all of Anton’s best ingredients. Best vocal performance, in my opinion. The voice is placed very close to the ears, like it should be in a true lullaby.”

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February 19, 2010

Tell Us Your Favorite 2 Songs from the New CD, ‘City of Oblivion’

The new CD, ‘City of Oblivion’ is finished and will first appear in public Thursday February 25th at Zebulon in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY, USA, Planet Earth.  In the meantime, you can hear all the tracks — for a very brief time — on this blog by clicking on their file names in the sidebar to the left, ‘City of Oblivion’. Anyone who would like to listen and post a comment remarking on their favorite song(s), please do so! We want to know which 2 to send to radio people across the country, and we’re interested in your opinion, because if you’re reading this, you’re special. Simply comment on this post below by clicking the ‘comment’ button. By the way, the top contender at the moment is ‘Listening’, but there is some strong competition from ‘Gone’. All posts will be read and considered carefully.

City of oblivion CD cover

And if you like what you’ve heard, please follow Anton Sword on Facebook by becoming a fan — you will be kept up to date on shows, new releases, special limited releases, and all that kind of stuff.

Follow Anton Sword on Facebook

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October 31, 2008

“Encore Status” Blog Review of ‘A Sentimental Education’


Here's the full text of the Encore Status review. Thanks, Sporky!

I like Anton Sword.
Affable chap. Very smooth. Haven’t met him, but I appreciate how clean,
how subdued he is on his album “Sentimental Education.” I hope Anton
will forgive me for assuming that his house doubled as an airport
lounge, but I’m starting to think that’s the case, first from the
album’s cover, and also from the music. Anton is a crooner. He shows
great range in that style of singing, so he can sound spooky on
“Infrared,” (more due to backing vocals as opposed to his own voice) or
melancholy as when he sings “Throw yourself away, Throw yourself away/
Liquefy your face, Liquefy your face.” He seems to feel that the pop
artist’s job is to reflect emotions to the audience as opposed to
experiencing them firsthand, and I like that about him. The most
emotional track on the album is “Standing on the Precipice,” a track
that more directly adheres to adult pop conventions, but even that
draws back at points when it feels itself getting carried away. The
guitar work directed by Sword on this track is particularly impressive
(guitarists were Julian Maile and Erik Paparazzi) because it is smooth,
measured, and soulful all at once. It suffers a little at the end,
specifically because it does abandon its restraint a bit, but maybe
that’s part of the fun. Still, amazingly good track.
Anton’s is an
act that thankfully eschews kitsch or cheese, or at least an overdose
of those elements, and takes the material as seriously as any emo
artist. “Liquefy” is the most comprehensive of his tracks, as it’s all
subdued sincerity and ambiguous haze . I like that Anton feels free to
wander about his keyboard, and the solos have a pleasant sense of timid
spontaneity. He likes to squiggle, like a kid coloring in the margins
with a glitter pen, but there is plenty of method to the wandering.
again some of the other tracks such as “The Instrument, Your Friend,”
or the aforementioned “Infrared” sound more urgent, and even a little
panicked. They traffic in ambient territory, and help by adding shades
to the starbursts. “My Judgment” is much more of a bad trip though.
Here, he subverts much of the album with some very harsh production
that almost sounds like the wailing of space ghosts in an arty sci-fi
movie. It comes off a bit overwhelming, if extremely skillful, and
contrasts, unfavorably, with his more salient tracks. The production
is, as I said, skillful, but at times inconsistent in that it sometimes
compliments its surroundings, and sometimes swells to the point of
overwhelming itself. There are violins and heavy stings, kind of like
Phil Spector, but it comes and goes too much. These are quibbles
really, and highlight just how accomplished this all is for a debut.
The bottom line is that Anton has already crafted a pretty steady
persona, and laid out some very strong thematic work in the realms of
liquid, light, and indecision.


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June 20, 2008

“Wildy’s World” Blog Review of ‘A Sentimental Education’

Here's the full text of the Wildy's World blog review: Thanks, Wildy.

Anton Sword – A Sentimental Education
2007, Anton Sword

Sometimes a record can move you to different places and times. It
happens in a mood or a well-placed hook or the tone and timbre of a
passage. Anton Sword is good at invoking time and place in his music.
The time is the late 1980's, the place is a basement in the suburbs
where vaguely displaced teens hang out and listen to Robert Smith &
The Cure or some other mildly depressed but incredibly talented band. A Sentimental Education
draws heavily on that 1980's new wave/goth vibe, yet weaves influences
as disparate as 1970's keyboard work and even some electronic
enhancements straight out of the Fax catalog.

A Sentimental Education
is dark and scintillating and full of texture imbued with an
anachronistic melancholy. Anton Sword is a storyteller with an artist's
ear for music, constructing these vast musical landscapes against which
his bard's tales are told. My personal favorite here is Behind The Scarlet Curtain, with Liquefy a
close second. Many of the songs here segue one into the other almost
like an epic tale made of smaller stories. The overall effect is very
entertaining yet mellow.

The musicianship here is outstanding.
The production values are minimalist and highly appropriate for the
music. The music speaks for itself here in the ultimate act of artistic
bravery. It works. Support Anton Sword by checking out his music and
buying a CD. Early returns seem to indicate that you will be rewarded
by a long association with Anton Sword.

Rating: 4 Stars (Out of 5)

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