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Friday, October 29, 2010

Swans:My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky(2010)

The Swans are an emotional tour de force. The band formed in 1982, as a part of the influential "No Wave" scene. Micheal Gira, the mastermind and mainstay behind the Swans moniker, carried on in various lineups until 1997. When they broke up, many of us diehards were disappointed, but he quickly formed a new band called, The Angels Of Light. While Angels were a brilliant band, they tended to tread lighter notes, and not have as much vitriol as Swans. I enjoyed both bands, but Swans had that foreboding, menacing, quality that not many bands outside of the Metal circles could rival. So when I heard that Micheal was reforming the Swans, I was ecstatic.


The first product of the new lineup is the new CD, My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky, and it is absolutely brilliant! It captures everything that I love about Swans, but adds a mellower, more acoustic beauty that he explored with Angels Of Light. The record is relatively short and to the point, and I think that it could gather Swans a whole new fan base. Many diehards are upset that Jarboe, the female chanteuse that was the yang to Micheal's yin, is not along for the ride. It bothers me none at all because the record is that good. For those who are not familiar there are elements of Sonic Youth, Glenn Branca, Jandek, and many other "outsider" artists to the Swans sound. But it is nigh impossible to give you a straightforward description of the music. If you are an adventurous listener, and stray far outside of "pop" music, you might wanna give it a try, you might be glad that you did.

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