The Best Fit Fifty Essential Albums of 2014

Swans - To Be Kind

Label: Mute
Released: May
Original Review by: Sam Kriss

To Be Kind sounds alternately like a derailing freight train, a spreading wave of nuclear obliteration, the scream at the end of the world, and the chilling calm afterwards – but for all that, it might be the most accessible Swans album yet. A few moments might even qualify as singalong road trip anthems (albeit anthems best suited for a road trip directly off a cliff).

It’s worth pointing out that Michael Gira turned sixty this year. However, Swans are as furious and as boundary-pushing as they’ve ever been, and despite the meticulous composition of the album, there’s still the constant nagging suspicion that Gira has gone utterly, chaotically insane.