Everything Is Good Here/Please Come Home

Outburn | by JC Smith

Naked, pained, and honest

SONGS OF RESIGNATION AND TRUTH: So much of what passes for music nowadays is nothing more than regurgitated pabulum ground into gruel and fed to the masses, lacking in anything approaching honesty and more like sonic slop fed to sheep. Not with any of the work of Michael Gira, though. As the leader of Swans, his music meshed perfectly with obsessive lyrics that bled like wounds to the soul. There were never any barriers between thought and creative realization, never any concessions to anything but the appropriate tones to convey the anguish within. With the third release from Angels of Light, Everything Is Good Here/Please Come Home, the acoustic inclinations of the first two releases have been fleshed out with layers of quirky instrumentation. From the ache and weariness of “Palisades” chining like a Christmas carol scribbled on flaking parchment, to the stomping barroom swagger of “All Souls Rising,” to the ominous mystery of “Nations” climaxing in torrents of wailing vocals and choral discord, and the uneasy lullaby conjured by “Wedding Song,” the beauty and quite despair never feel contrived. The imperfections of Gira’s voice only concretize the impressions, dangling like a raw nerve dipped in battery acid; naked, pained, and honest.