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Swans | Soundtracks for the Blind | Review

Lumpe House

a disturbing zenith of every good and bad idea the Swans have embraced throughout their long career

At least 15 torturous years of experience and idea have been distilled into a 2 CD set heavy with delicate melodies and apology, creating a disturbing zenith of every good and bad idea the Swans have embraced throughout their long No New York career. Pieces of conversation, crude and also plaintive vocals by Jarboe, songs more appropriate for World of Skin albums, Gira's poetry, soft instrumental interludes, struggling parts of curiosities culminate in an uncomfortably dramatic display of anguish and relief, a gutted and forsaken attempt at forcing the final fingers down the throats of the Swans as a collective band forever. From this point on it's a long look backwards, which Atavistic is aiding by reissuing a vast back catalog of material, and helping make this legendary band available post mortem. This is one of the most unpleasant yet cathartic and esoteric collections of Swans songs, a final affirmation of the horrors of perpetual internal breakdown coupled with a nihilistic public cry for attention by a band so seeped in a perpetual cycle of sin and salvation it can no longer hold itself together to overcome any more despair.
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