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  • Graffiti Punctuated Review of Swans' 10/13/16 London

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    SWANS: THE MAN WHO REFUSED TO BE UNHAPPY OCTOBER 18, 2016 NILS VAN DER LINDEN Swans | Islington Assembly Hall | 13 October 2016 This is the end. The current Swans line-up are hitting the road one last time. But, as always, it’s on their own terms. So, no nostalgia, no pandering, no greatest hits. Instead, the New York noise gods are bidding farewell – for now – with thunderous performances showcasing not just their sublime new album, ‘The Glowing Man’, but also music so new it’s not yet been committed to tape.  Like set opener ‘The Knot’. An evolution of 2010’s ‘No Words No Thoughts’, it begins as an ambient bed of string and keyboard textures, with frontman Michael Gira – back turned to the audience – initially holding back the tide, leading his band through the steady rise in volume, intensity, and tension. The anticipation swells, and there’s a palpable sense of emotional release when the wave finally crashes in a crescendo of guitars, drumming, and Gira’s increasingly animated gestures. The comedown is equally gradual and, punctuated by the frontman’s baritone vocals, no less powerful, a masterclass in the time-warping effect of repetition. So too is the urgent......

  • Reprobate Magazine Review of Swans 2016 London Concerts

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    Review: Swans – Islington Assembly Hall, Oct 13th/14th 2016 You know what? Perhaps I am a masochist after all. Why else, at the end of the day, would I choose to spend two consecutive evenings stood in a packed hall, being flattened for nearly three hours at a time by what is quite possibly the most overpowering, noisy, ear-bleeding music currently purveyed by any rock band? On the other hand, maybe it’s because right now, it’s also the most exciting music being made by any rock band. And they’re not even a new act… Put simply, Swans are the very definition of a phenomenon. Active in various incarnations since 1981, the New York City-based collective are unique in that whereas many others who constantly “reinvent” do so with diminishing returns, each of their new editions seems to progressively receive more acclaim than the last. Even now, several fans and critics are immediately pronouncing their newest release The Glowing Man as superior to its immediate predecessor To Be Kind: that album in turn attracted as many plaudits if not more as my own personal favourite, 2012’s The Seer, and….you get the picture. Even more incredible is that all of these are now......

  • The Riviera Glowing Man Review

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    Swans- The Glowing Man Michael Gira's legendary noise-makers sign out with one of the most transcendental records of their career.    It's easy to look at the current state of worldwide affairs and denounce this age as the final downward spiral of humanity. Depressingly, for many of those among the most unfortunate it has all too often seemed as though their fates have been prized from their hands; gone in a millisecond with no confirmation of return or purpose. Together with his band Swans, Michael Gira has been the gutter-level voice of primal anxiety and loss since the early '80s. Since their reformation in 2009, they've continued shamelessly to force their apocalyptic purview into practice, becoming ever more expansive and all-consuming in the process; 2014's To Be Kind was the sound of entire galaxies pushing the self-destruct button. The Glowing Man, which will be their final album in this incarnation, is somewhat a depiction of the aftermath. How have our lives changed now that they're seemingly forfeit? Who is left to pick up the pieces? Though The Glowing Man doesn't provide archetypal answers to those questions, it does reach pretty transcendental peaks via a number of passages. Lyrically it's bursting......

  • Totally Biased Glowing Man Review

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    Swans – The Glowing Man by EliotPublished 19 July 2016 Swans have been around for a while. They started way back in 1982, stopped in 1997 and then reinvented themselves in 2010. That’s also when I first heard of them, not really being into experimental no-wave when I was 10 years old. So my introduction came pretty late, but I was immediately hooked, listening to everything they released and buying all their reissues to really understand what Swans are all about. To me, the masterpiece of their current line-up is To Be Kind, Which still haunts my dreams, but The Glowing Man is a fitting end to this incarnation of Swans. If you have listened to any of their past 2 albums, you’ll notice that very few things have changed. TGM is a double album, with 4 songs on each side, spanning just under two hours. As always, it’s a challenging listen at times, since songs often span 25 minutes. But there’s a lot to find and love here. It’s hard to tell someone what Swans sound like. I found that out while trying to write this review. They are unique, with elements of drone, krautrock, no-wave, post-punk and more......

  • LEO Weekly Q&A with Michael Gira

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    No expectations: A Q&A with Michael Gira of Swans JULY 20, 2016 BY JOHN KING Michael Gira — musician, author and owner of the record label Young God Records — has released 30 albums under various projects including Angels of Light and Swans, the latter he founded in 1982. After a 15-year-break, Gira reformed Swans in 2009 and has since released four albums to critical acclaim. The latest album, The Glowing Man, was released June 17. We recently caught up with Gira to talk about the new record, and how his music has progressed. LEO: Some may find it peculiar that, at the time of the newest release, you stated that this would be the last album and tour of this lineup. What prompted this, or maybe it was by design to step down on a high note?Michael Gira: Certainly I am exhausted, as is everyone else in the group — but it has a lot to do with the fact that we have been in close quarters for well over 200 days a year for the last seven years, considering that we started working together in 2009. Though there is certainly a lot of life left in this configuration, which we’ll......

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