M. Gira | Drainland | Review

Music for the Empty Quarter | VL

Ten invasive songs

It's well over a decade now since Swans unleashed their venom on an unsuspecting world, but this is the first solo release proper from Gira himself, (assisted by Jarboe and Ministry's Bill Rieflin). "Drainland," not surprisingly, is an intensely personal journey into one man's angst-filled universe. Ten invasive songs that range from the beautifully sad opener, "You See Through Me," wherein Gira sings the title repeatedly over Death in June-like melody and a tape of a relationship in the throes of breakdown, to the horrific lyrics and slow pounding of "I See Them All Lined Up," to the cynical and egomaniacal "Fan Letter." The acoustic guitars and keyboards work well against Gira's deep vocals and the noise elements that make their irksome presence felt. An emotionally heavy (although musically affecting) experience, this is a long-awaited disc that doesn't disappoint at all. The final track, "Blind," is peculiarly upbeat despite its message: "I was younger once, and I created a lie/And though my body was strong, I was self-deluded, confident and blind." Impressively convincing.