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  • Louder Than War Glowing Man Review

    () - concert, live, M. Gira, Michael Gira, review, SWANS, The Glowing Man, young god

    SwansThe Glowing Man10/10album review Yet again Swans make another powerful hypnotic album that is as terrifying as it is beautiful as it concerns itself with the powerful intoxicant of love and all the highs and lows that entails says LTW boss and Membranes frontman John Robb So, all good things come to the end. Where Swans go from here no-one can really speculate but there is an end here. A real sense of finality. This is a juddering and enormous full stop to this incredible four album journey that began with My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky in 2010 and saw the return of Swans as purveyors of a rock music at the final furthest edge of the universe. Each album was a huge work to get lost in and each album dared to go further into a heart of darkness. The Glowing Man ebbs and flows and has some of the familiar hallmarks of this period of Swans like the swelling guitar dissonance, the almost classic, brooding, sinister swells of sound like on the 25-minute Cloud Of Unknowing. Some of those hallmarks of their sound are still here like Thor Harris’s percussion and chiming......

  • Get Into This O2 Ritz, Manchester Concert Review

    () - concert, live, M. Gira, Michael Gira, review, SWANS, The Glowing Man, young god

    Swans farewell gig at the O2 Ritz in Manchester was a quasi-religious experience and Getintothis’ Rick Leachthinks we won’t see their like again. A Sunday evening. Highway with Harry Seacombe. Songs of Praise on BBC1. This is how it was thirty three years ago. Highway and Harry Seacombe are long gone; Songs of Praise is still hanging on. As are Swans. Just. Thirty three years ago they were on their starting blocks, beginning a sonic journey like no other, beginning with the still incredibly unique Filth album, a visceral assault on not only our ear drums, but on all our preconceptions about what music is all about and what music is for. What it means and what it can do. Using words such as intense and challenging with regard to Swans always seem to be a tad clichéd and tame. Unsettling and uncomfortable seem to fit the bill more. That’s the way they’ve carried on over the past quarter of a century and more. Great slabs of music, monolithic tablets seemingly wrested and dragged from the depths by Michael Gira and his conspirators in the band. Lately, and since 2010’s My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the......

  • Heathen Harvest Review

    () - concert, live, M. Gira, Michael Gira, review, SWANS, The Glowing Man, young god

    .:.THE SOUND OF FREEDOM.:. Brief Reflections on the Live and Studio Experience of Swans by Conor Fynes ___ The evolution of Swans is one of the most fascinating I’ve ever come across in music. Where other bands may have stagnated or fallen apart decades ago, Swans have veritably established themselves as a go-to flagship in experimental music. As someone who generally frequents those circles, it’s been commonplace to see them talked about with a certain kind of reverence usually reserved for the most godlike of cult artists, as well as promising artists that disbanded well before their time. For some, it almost seems like the music of Swans has become a standardized test for what constitutes the best in musical taste. Even without taking the music into account, the fact that any band can draw this fervent appreciation from people is something to behold. As for my own relationship with Swans, the fact that they took so long to grow on me is likely an added testament to their greatness. Although I’d first heard about them in the early 2000s from like-minded friends, I surprisingly never gave them a full chance until this most recent incarnation around 2010. To Be......

  • Oxford Student Concert Review

    () - concert, live, M. Gira, Michael Gira, review, SWANS, The Glowing Man, young god

    Live Review: Swans ByGabriel Naughton Posted on 11th November 2016 If you were to ask the average person to imagine the loudest, heaviest, most punishing band active right now it’s unlikely that they will picture a sextet of middle-aged and elderly men. Yet the New York based Swans have always been an unimaginably odd band. Across their 30+ year history they have indulged in almost every “underground” genre there is. From harsh, dissonant no wave in the early 80’s to epic and expansive post rock in the mid 90’s, the band not only played with but also fundamentally changed each style of music they came across. Since their 14 year long hiatus came to an end in 2010, Swans have been onto something new. Their songs now tend to focus on repetitive, hypnotic grooves and slowly building atmosphere to achieve their trademark heaviness. Consequently these later-period albums have gained a well-earned reputation for being an incredibly challenging and mind-numbing listen. It’s therefore understandable that Swans is a band that often only appeals to the kind of person who loves punishment. There is an almost nihilistic approach to song structure on their last 3 albums that requires both patience and stamina......

  • Strathclyde Telegraph Òran Mór Concert Review

    () - concert, live, M. Gira, Michael Gira, review, SWANS, The Glowing Man, young god

    Gig review: Swans, Òran Mór, Tuesday 11th October By Georgia Curran Imagine seeing one of the most brutal experimental rock bands in the history of music in a renovated church basement. Swans formed in 1982 and split in 1997, only to reunite thirteen years later. Their post-reunion releases and performances have so far met universal acclaim. At least now policemen don’t turn up to shut down their gigs, and front-man Michael Gira doesn’t beat up audience members for headbanging anymore. The band have mellowed with age; but are they turning down their amps? Over Gira’s dead body! Bathed in electric blue light, support act Anna von Hausswolff started with simple drones and beautiful vocals. The further into the set we went, the darker the songs became. Swaying from synthpop elements to ritualistic vibes, her music is reminiscent of Jarboe’s earlier work but more polished. She satiated the crowd spectacularly, a tiny figure against the rest of her band’s silhouettes. Finishing with spine-chattering reverb and wonderful feedback, von Hausswolff has left me quaking in my Docs and buzzing for Swans. The band set up their own equipment without batting an eyelid. Gira emerged with slicked-back grey hair and brown corduroy trousers.......

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