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  • M. Gira | Drainland | Review

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    The Big Issue | Rob Mitchellthe Pied Piper of nihilismThis new solo album from Michael Gira of Swans fame, confirms his standing as the Pied Piper of nihilism. It is as brutal and upsetting as it is compelling and beautiful and it forces the listener to think, to reassess, to confront the most basically held truths, a rare thing in modern music. Musically is swings between discordant sonic battery and lush, spectral almost country ballads. Lyrically, it features Gira at his bluntest. His outlook is a worst-case scenario so horrific that one would wish to deny it outright, were it not so enticing: we are all just sacks of water and germs and our lives are a meaningless mistake. Drainland screams with napalm imagery of death and misery. "You See Through Me" highlights explicitly the petty, vicious stupidity that characterizes our relationships through a quietly horrifying taped argument between a woman and her thieving, alcoholic partner. A relentlessly grim, celebrity-stalking nightmare unfolds over a whining, wheezy organ on "Fan Letter," taking the slaughterman's knife into our idol culture. Gira puts plainly the ideas we spend our lives fleeing from against startling musical backdrops. How serious he is is open to......

  • M. Gira | Drainland | Review

    ()

    The Big Issue | Rob Mitchellthe Pied Piper of nihilismThis new solo album from Michael Gira of Swans fame, confirms his standing as the Pied Piper of nihilism. It is as brutal and upsetting as it is compelling and beautiful and it forces the listener to think, to reassess, to confront the most basically held truths, a rare thing in modern music. Musically is swings between discordant sonic battery and lush, spectral almost country ballads. Lyrically, it features Gira at his bluntest. His outlook is a worst-case scenario so horrific that one would wish to deny it outright, were it not so enticing: we are all just sacks of water and germs and our lives are a meaningless mistake. Drainland screams with napalm imagery of death and misery. "You See Through Me" highlights explicitly the petty, vicious stupidity that characterizes our relationships through a quietly horrifying taped argument between a woman and her thieving, alcoholic partner. A relentlessly grim, celebrity-stalking nightmare unfolds over a whining, wheezy organ on "Fan Letter," taking the slaughterman's knife into our idol culture. Gira puts plainly the ideas we spend our lives fleeing from against startling musical backdrops. How serious he is is open to......

  • M. Gira | Drainland | Review

    ()

    The Big Issue | Rob Mitchellthe Pied Piper of nihilismThis new solo album from Michael Gira of Swans fame, confirms his standing as the Pied Piper of nihilism. It is as brutal and upsetting as it is compelling and beautiful and it forces the listener to think, to reassess, to confront the most basically held truths, a rare thing in modern music. Musically is swings between discordant sonic battery and lush, spectral almost country ballads. Lyrically, it features Gira at his bluntest. His outlook is a worst-case scenario so horrific that one would wish to deny it outright, were it not so enticing: we are all just sacks of water and germs and our lives are a meaningless mistake. Drainland screams with napalm imagery of death and misery. "You See Through Me" highlights explicitly the petty, vicious stupidity that characterizes our relationships through a quietly horrifying taped argument between a woman and her thieving, alcoholic partner. A relentlessly grim, celebrity-stalking nightmare unfolds over a whining, wheezy organ on "Fan Letter," taking the slaughterman's knife into our idol culture. Gira puts plainly the ideas we spend our lives fleeing from against startling musical backdrops. How serious he is is open to......

  • Swans | The Great Annihilator | Review

    ()

    New York Press | Jessica WillisSadness Saves.Enough. I'm over it. If Beth Gibbons' disbelieving, choked-up quiver is the introduction to a ruptured heart, then the frigid Leonard Cohen-esque monotone of Swans' M. Gira is the blessed outro. Gira's delivery has all the chummy warmth of mirrored cop shades and arms folded tightly across the chest, and Swans' The Great Annihilator (Young God/Invisible) might be all I need. The jangly, huge acoustic guitars and horrorshow irony of "She Lives!" reminds me of the pleasure in a well-timed, succinct get the FUCK out of my face: "Every second the you suffer is a loss that I gain. Now I just want to thank you, for the light that you spread: magnesium and sulphur, and the fear in your head." Sure, it's pure early-'80s stringy dyed black hair teen chip-on-the-shoulder goth fodder, but if you spent at least one salad day sitting on a curb near a college chewing your nail, playing with your heavy necklaces and contemplating self-immolation and/or Joy Division, Annihilator will pummel away your loneliness and isolation. During one honestly uplifting instrumental track, the aptly titled "Warm," I remember running through an orchard near my school, black trenchcoat flapping, ankh......

  • Swans | The Great Annihilator | Review

    ()

    New York Press | Jessica WillisSadness Saves.Enough. I'm over it. If Beth Gibbons' disbelieving, choked-up quiver is the introduction to a ruptured heart, then the frigid Leonard Cohen-esque monotone of Swans' M. Gira is the blessed outro. Gira's delivery has all the chummy warmth of mirrored cop shades and arms folded tightly across the chest, and Swans' The Great Annihilator (Young God/Invisible) might be all I need. The jangly, huge acoustic guitars and horrorshow irony of "She Lives!" reminds me of the pleasure in a well-timed, succinct get the FUCK out of my face: "Every second the you suffer is a loss that I gain. Now I just want to thank you, for the light that you spread: magnesium and sulphur, and the fear in your head." Sure, it's pure early-'80s stringy dyed black hair teen chip-on-the-shoulder goth fodder, but if you spent at least one salad day sitting on a curb near a college chewing your nail, playing with your heavy necklaces and contemplating self-immolation and/or Joy Division, Annihilator will pummel away your loneliness and isolation. During one honestly uplifting instrumental track, the aptly titled "Warm," I remember running through an orchard near my school, black trenchcoat flapping, ankh......

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