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  • Swans | The Great Annihilator | Review

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    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......

  • Swans | The Great Annihilator | Review

    ()

    CMJ | Cheryl BotchickLiltingly ethereal and at the same time gloomy and sorrowful.Though the Swans have been on a three-year hiatus, 1995 marks the thirteenth year of their existence, an eternity in terms of alternative bands, most of which quickly fall victim to one trend or another. Perhaps it was the fact that when they emerged in a world of New Wave and jangly guitar groups in the early '80s. Their bludgeoning rock of nearly unprecedented volume was already too alien to be part of the rise and fall of any hip sound. Through 11 albums, numerous singles and EPs and more than a few side projects and solo albums, the Swans have modified their work just enough to stay one step ahead of fans and curiosity-seekers alike. The Great Annihilator is a near 70-minute epic collection of the Swans' more recent work, and with moments that are liltingly ethereal and at the same time gloomy and sorrowful, and beats that are as sinister as they are dancey, it stands as the flipside to the Swans' dark coin. M. Gira's haunting lyrics are as dire as ever when delivered by his foreboding and decadent voice. "She Lives!" tells a perverse......

  • Swans | The Great Annihilator | Review

    ()

    CMJ | Cheryl BotchickLiltingly ethereal and at the same time gloomy and sorrowful.Though the Swans have been on a three-year hiatus, 1995 marks the thirteenth year of their existence, an eternity in terms of alternative bands, most of which quickly fall victim to one trend or another. Perhaps it was the fact that when they emerged in a world of New Wave and jangly guitar groups in the early '80s. Their bludgeoning rock of nearly unprecedented volume was already too alien to be part of the rise and fall of any hip sound. Through 11 albums, numerous singles and EPs and more than a few side projects and solo albums, the Swans have modified their work just enough to stay one step ahead of fans and curiosity-seekers alike. The Great Annihilator is a near 70-minute epic collection of the Swans' more recent work, and with moments that are liltingly ethereal and at the same time gloomy and sorrowful, and beats that are as sinister as they are dancey, it stands as the flipside to the Swans' dark coin. M. Gira's haunting lyrics are as dire as ever when delivered by his foreboding and decadent voice. "She Lives!" tells a perverse......

  • Lisa Germano

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    Rolling Stone | Paul Evans Unforgettable 1994Geek the Girl Midway through Geek the Girl, as strings throb above a squawking police emergency call, Lisa intones a mantra of fear: “Baseball bat beside the bed.”  The song, “…A Psychopath,” is aural theater that deals body blows; it’s harrowingly real, as is this entire beautiful, wrenching album.  John Mellencamp’s violinist, Germano has accomplished fine music before: On the Way Down From the Moon Palace and Happiness were lovely and subtly disturbing.  But with Geek she joins such poets of pain as Kurt Cobain and Polly Harvey in chronicling indelibly, with raw honesty, life in a culture of abuse.  “Cancer of Everything,” “…Of Love and Colors” and “Trouble” build on faraway piano, simple guitar and whispering to voice a victim’s testimony, rendered in art that seizes the heart. Unforgettable....

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