Swans

By r89756 r89756
updated over 3 years ago

These are reviews of albums by the group Swans.

  1. Swans - The Seer

    This was the first album I've ever heard by Swans so needless to say I didn't know what to expect. In 2012 Swans released the album "The Seer" to the public and it was given tons of praise so I thought I would take a listen to it. I have to say I was impressed. Though some of the songs like "The Seer" were excruciatingly long it was very good for its length. My personal favorite track on this album is the ninth track on the album and is called "Avatar" it is sort of it's own little 8 minute epic. Tracks like "Mother Of The World", "A Piece Of The Sky" and "The Seer" are definitely strong seconds on my list though. The title track is a 32 minute long song that is one of the tightest recorded songs that I have ever heard. I mean the musicianship put into this lengthy song is insane! Swans seems to really understand the quality of intense and abstract music which is something I can respect about them because this album is truly dark in a time when most bands just kind of pose as if they're dark. A few songs on this album let the darkness fade away for a little bit like the sweet ballad "Song For A Warrior" and the 19 minute long "A Piece of The Sky". Though this album manages to really leave the listener in agony but also leave them asking for it all over again at least, that's what I got out of it. In no way is this album easy to get into kinda like all of Swans' discography and that should serve as a warning for any weak willed music listeners who are scared of some seriously strange and intense music. There is a song on this album that is ten minutes long and for about four and a half of those minutes it is a two note groove with the sound of Michael Gira heavily and rhythmically breathing to the guitar line followed by his sort of high pitched open mouth noises leading into the intensity that is the second half of the song. I just described "Mother Of The World" in a very disturbing way. Another thing that makes this album hard to get into is the length and the attention required. I mean, this album is two hours long and it kinda demands attention or else you will not like the album. There is a 32 minute long track a 23 minute long track and a 19 minute long track showing that yes this is definitely gonna be a long ride so, if you're not willing to sit down and give it the time it deserves it's best to find something else to listen to. This album shows true originality and creative energy. 10/10

  2. Swans - Soundtracks For The Blind

    Swans' 1996 grand finale was a sort of genius that you only come across every once in a while. This album paints vivid musical imagery that can only be more vivid if you were actually seeing these images. This album is dark, disturbing, strange, and yet at the same time calm and collected. It spends many of its lengthy 142 minutes spanning various genres from ambient, Musique Concréte, experimental, post-rock, drone, punk, post-punk, industrial rock, and even minimalism. This album seeks to do a lot with not all that much and it conquers its own goal. The album was comprised of all these audio samples Michael Gira had saved between 1981 and 1995. He used his interest in ambience and sampling to create this album. The album is a heavily celebrated piece of music. Though, it is very inaccessible to someone who is new to this band. Believe me this was the second swans album I heard and it almost completely turned me away from them. If your new to this band start off with something like The Great Anihilator. Though this album is very much unique especially for the time it was conceived. It just isn't an album to introduce you to this band. 9.4/10

  3. Swans - To Be Kind

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    In May of last year Swans released a testament of an album. Their second longest album next to Soundtracks For The Blind which clocked in at a whopping 142 minutes. To Be Kind clocks in at 121 minutes which is longer than some movies which is very intimidating to many music listeners. The other major thing that can be pointed out about this album is it's very dark, very repetitive, very inaccessible, and very very aggressive. The album opens up with a bass line that always reminds me of Tool, it's called "Screenshot" and it's a shorter song on this album clocking in at a brief 8 minutes. The second song is DARK! It's called "Just A Little Boy ( For Chester Burnett )" and is 12 minutes long and it will leave you either in tears or begging for more. The third track is kind of a hit song for this album and is called "A Little God In My Hands" and is just over 7 minutes and is the second shortest song on the album. The song is great but can come off a little bit repetitive to your non swans listeners. The fourth track is kind of an epic on it's own rights it's called "Bring The Sun/Toussaint L'ouverture" and is 34 minutes long and is a testament to anyone who listens to this album. It is loud and epic plus the field recordings used in the middle are magnificent. Be forewarned though, the song is intense and draining to an average listener. The fifth track is the shortest clocking in at just over 5 minutes which is called "Some Things We Do" and is a droning and just depressing song. The following song is called "She Loves Us" and is the second longest track of the album at 17 minutes long. The seventh track is called "Kirsten Supine" amd features some guest vocals from Indie legend St.Vincent. The track is 10 and a half minutes long and is a very moody song. The eighthsong is the third shortest song and is sort of the second hit song with "A Little God In My Hands" and this one is called "Oxygen" it's 8 minutes long and is fast and aggressive and will leave those with weak wills in tears. ( though if you have listened to the rest of the album and made it through Bring The Sun you'll probably be safe.) it is definitely a post-punk song. The ninth track is a 10 minute long song called "Nathalie Neal" and is definitely one of the heavier songs on the album. The final track is the title track and is sort of the big bow done swans style. It is 8 and a half minutes long and feels sort of like the big ending to this album. All around, To Be Kind is a very strong album. The album could crush the will of anyone who doesn't know what they are jumping into. Be careful when listening to this album if you do not listen to or are not familiar with Swans. This album is amazing though so I'm gonna give it a 10/10

  4. Swans - Filth

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    The debut album from the band Swans is an uncompromising, brutal, aggressive, numbing album. Released in 1983 this album is just so heavy for that time frame. This album takes styles from Industrial music, No Wave, experimental, and rock music. It features two basses, two drums, and a guitarist. The lyrics are just heavy and aggressive! My personal favorite track on the album is the third to last track titled "Weakling". Some honorable mentions include "Stay Here", "Thank You", and the ultra aggressive but really short "Freak". This album is for anyone looking for aggressive, hard hitting and numbing music. This album is only around 35 minutes long but during that time it will pound the shit out of you! 9/10.

  5. Swans - Cop

    The second release by New York experimental rock band Swans is probably one of the heaviest recordings ever! Following the initial release of Filth, the band dropped one drummer and made the music louder and slower as well as way way heavier. The opening track "Half Life" is just pure aggression. My favorite track is called "Thug" which is the closer to the album and is DARK! Everything about this album is just like a one up to the debut. It's as if someone said to Michael Gira that Filth was super heavy and he looked at them and said "I can do heavier!" and he managed to do so. Mixing styles of Industrial, Punk, No Wave, Metal, Noise, and Avant-Garde Rock this album displays Swans' early era at one of their many powerful points! This album is only 40 minutes long but it will feel way longer then that but in a good way. It will leave you numb from how non-stop and aggressive this album is. It truly shows no mercy what so ever to the listener just like the debut except done to the extreme. 9.2/10

  6. Swans - The Burning World

    In 1989, Swans released their sixth studio album. It was the band's only major record label release and it manages to show. Not that this album is in anyway worse then any of their other albums it is just by far and away their most accessible album ever and still stands with that title to this day. Following the release of this album the band was dropped from Uni Records due to this album's poor performance and sales. It only sold 5,000 copies in the U.K. Initially though the hit single "Saved" enjoyed decent success after peaking at number 20 on the U.S. College Radio charts and number 28 on the U.S. Modern Rock Tracks chart. Though, generally this album was seen as a general disappointment for Swans' discography. Though, taking sales out of the equation, this album is pretty decent. Though, you should not jump into this album looking for your typical Swans album ( ear destroying heavy insanity) this album will never harm your eardrums at all unfortunately. But, this album does shine a different light on the band and showed that they could do something a bit easier to listen to as well as something with a bit different style then the rest of their previous releases. This album is generally quiet in sound and soft in style. My personal favorite tracks were the opener "The River that Runs with Love Won't Run Dry" the big single "Saved" and the closer "God Damn the Sun" there is also a great version of the Blind Faith song "Can't Find My Way Home" in which Jarboe did some great vocals on. All around this album isn't amazing but it is good though I would say that this is probably Swans' weakest release to date which says something because this is still a pretty good album and they have released thirteen albums at this point. This is their surprisingly quiet and soft album. 7.9/10

  7. Swans - My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky

    In 2010, Michael Giragrew tired of his routine with The Angels Of Light and decided he wanted to make epic music again so he decided to revive Swans. This is their first release since 1996's Soundtracks For The Blind. Think about that. That is fourteen years without a new release from the band that's a long time. Anyways this album is definitely just a small step into the giant world of what was coming up for this new line up. You could definitely tell that Michael Gira wasn't quite used to being back in Swans and it kinda shows. The way he sings sounds way more like how he sang in Angels Of Light rather than Swans. Making this seem way more like an Angels Of Light release. And to add onto that a large portion of the new lineup to Swans were members of Angels Of Light at some point. My personal favorite tracks include: "You Fucking People Make Me Sick" and "Jim" and on the deluxe edition the closing song that is longer than the entire album itself the 46 minute long track called "Look At Me Go" which I thought was pure genius. All around this album comes away sounding way more like an Angels Of Light album rather than a Swans release but it is still pretty damn good! 8.4/10

  8. Swans - Children Of God

    The fifth studio effort to be released by Swans was released in 1987. This album shows a change in Swans' sound compared to the industrial Greed and the noisy Holy Money. This album also shows a consistent theme in songs about God and religion (hence the title of the album). The opening track "New Mind" jumps right into the album with a punch this song is quite good. The following track is "In My Garden" which contrasts "New Mind" quite well, it's kinda black with white, loud and aggressive with quiet and soft. The following track is "Our Love Lies" this is also a personal favorite of mine as well as the follower to that "Sex, God, Sex" and "Like A Drug (Sha La La La)". This album is the first album to show some actual lyrical under meaning in Michael Gira's work rather than just shouting aggressively over loud and percussive tracks. This album also shows the beginning in Swans' more gothic sound. Children Of God comes off as kinda being a concept album of sorts in the fact that the album has one consistent theme in its lyrical meaning and that is God and Religion. If this band were more well known this album probably would've been controversial for what it says about religion but they managed to slip this album out from under the people's radar. All around this album really shows Swans' first major change in sound. 9.3/10

  9. Swans - Swans

    The first release to come from New York City band Swans was in 1982 and sounded drastically different from its follower Filth which came out just under a year later. This EP is completely different in sound from their debut album not nearly as much aggression, not as noisy, no grunting vocals, no brutality, and a saxophone. This sounds way more No-Wave than anything they released afterward. This EP has four tracks on it the version I listened to had the track titles all jumbled so I don't know the particular order but the names are "Speak", "Laugh", "Take Advantage", and "Sensitive Skin" each are around four to six minutes long. The songs are fast pace the vocals don't really sound like Gira's signature low bearing howls but instead sound more middle register and very "untrained". I was a little disappointed to be honest with this EP because I was expecting something quite a bit more like Filth so I was dissapointed in the sound on this EP. If your looking for Swans this isn't what you want. This may be Swans but this isn't Swans at their truest this sounds much more like Gira's previous group called Circus Mort who released one album in 1981 and that is what this EP sounds like. This isn't Swans this is much more like Circus Mort so that is what it is in my mind. 7.2/10

  10. Swans - We Rose From Your Bed With The Sun In Our Head

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    The 2012 live album by Swans was put together and sold as a fundraiser for the following epic "The Seer". Though, this album was just used to support their upcoming release that doesn't mean it was put together hastefully. This album is a series of live tracks from the album My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky and from The Seer as well as some old tracks like (I) Crawled and Sex, God, Sex. The tracks on this album are powerful especially the opener the 23 minute long rendition of No Thoughts/No Words and The Seer as well as the 16 minute version of Apostate. Though it is really cool to get to hear Swans go back on some songs from their 80s catalog. They go over their songs in a completely different way than they originally sounded on their initial albums. Another powerful track on this album is the 11 minute version of Eden Prison which has this pounding interlude where they play a singular chord over and over again with pounding intensity it's almost orgasmic! All around this album isn't anything like the studio stuff but is definitely a valid listen. 8.8/10