Swans | Swans Related Projects | Review


no way limited to any definable genre

The SWANS initial release, 4 SONG EP, in 1982 was a stunner. "Shocking" may not be too strong a word. Loud, noisy, dreadfully slow, torturous music behind even more tortured vocals. Next to this record even JOY DIVISION is a campfire sing-a-long. NICO is a cheerleader. I had not heard, up to that point, an album of such powerful grating noise, and such sadness and beauty all at the same time. The intervening recordings were always interesting. They experimented a lot. Or, at least, stylistic variation from record to record was surprisingly varied. They confounded fans. Their version of Love Will Tear Us Apart is downright pretty. Most of the fans that I know consider their output uneven, with differing and strongly held opinions on which album is strongest. SWANS consist of M. Gira and Jarboe and for the current work each of them has produced what is actually a solo record. Each contributes a CD to the two CD set. Each CD has in common a dark and noisy, how shall I say this?, lushness, fullness unusual in Noise Music. I probably shouldn't even use the term Noise Music. This work is in no way limited to any definable genre. But rarely are noise elements used so carefully and masterfully to create such a...well, sensitive art. SWANS elevate Noise Music and their own craft with this album.