Angels of Light | Live | Preview
PHILADELPHIA CITY PAPER | HELEN H. THOMPSON
...acoustic guitars, ukuleles and dulcimers...It's hard to not draw immediate parallels between Michael Gira and Nick Cave. Both are at once obscure and larger than life. Both are veterans of intellectual post-punk machinations - Gira from the Swans and Cave from The Birthday Party. Both chronically reinvent themselves and have gone through incarnations as poets, spoken-word artists and solo performers. But oddly, Gira doesn't seem to have the same kind of name recognition that Cave does, and he should: If anyone could be cited as the inventor of Horror Rock, it's Gira. His toddler-aged project Angels of Light, throws up a lovely identity crisis. Surely something so nominally delicate isn't the brainchild of he whose violent arabesque was the soul of Swans. But like actual Swans, the beauty of Angels belies their volatile temper; cherubs these are not. So while Gira now weaves his musical tapestries with acoustic guitars, ukuleles and dulcimers, he's still every bit as grim and tortured. The latest Angels of Light release, How I Loved You, is a study in the emotion in all its manifestations, even the most violent. It's safe to say that Gira's brand of black humor has evolved from the visceral to the psychological, and we all know which is the more terrifying.