Blood and Honey
Sex God Sex
Like A Drug (Sha La La La)
Children of God
Beautiful Child Reprise
Thank You, Goodbye
The reviews below summarize the aural experience of this release:
From AllMusic.com: At the time, being the first of the many semi-official bootlegs and live releases that Swans put out over the years, Feel Good Now documents the 1987 European tour for Children of God , recorded quite well on a professional walkman by the band's sound engineer. The track list exclusively focuses on Children of God material, so the album has much of the same general variety as its parent release, though all of the edges are a little rougher. "Blood and Honey," for example, maintains the synth-string arrangements from the album as well as Jarboe's low, haunting vocals, but the louder instrumental breaks have a stronger power here. In the meantime, already overpowering songs like "New Mind '' and "Beautiful Child" rage all that much harder in a live arena, with Gira holding little back, if at all. At the same time, a tune like "Trust Me '' maintains Gira's commanding-yet-controlled croon amidst the more textured, elegant arrangement, though he definitely starts to let himself go more towards the end. Naming every highlight would take nearly forever, but special mention has to be made of "Children of God," featuring a fantastic call-and-response vocal tradeoff between Jarboe and Gira while the band brilliantly backs them up, and versions of "Sex God Sex" and especially "Blind Love," which make the album versions seem like gentle walks in the park by comparison.
From Spectrumculture.com: ...Countless bands would consider the stage where their music takes truest flight, but even factoring the immense quality of Swans’ catalog, their studio albums have always felt like ways to coalesce their legendary and terrifying live act onto something of permanent record. Swans live albums abound, and by this point the group already had a certifiable classic in the form of the deafening squall of Public Castration Is a Good Idea. Feel Good Now, like all of the band’s live LPs prior to the startling sonic clarity of the group’s first kiss-off, Swans Are Dead, is muddled by the sheer limits of recording technology; recorded on a professional-standard Walkman, the double-LP makes even official soundboard recordings sound tinny and lacking the reverberating bass weight of their low roar.
Nonetheless, anyone who might feel that Children of God marked a diversion into a more placid, pretty Swans will have that notion brutally checked by the live renditions documented on this record. The title track, for example, is transformed into a demented call-and-response between Jarboe and Gira, whose yells shatter the studio version’s soaring irony and foreground the self-annihilating, Hellraiser-like rapture of blood that was buried beneath the surface. “Sex, God, Sex” and “Trust Me” rage so hard that reserved songs like “Blackmail” take on even more unsettling eye-of-the storm calm than they did on the record. A strung-out version of “Blind Love” hints at the epic, grueling, cathartic performances that the band would not master until Soundtracks for the Blind and their post-reunion albums and shows, while “Beautiful Child,” already the studio album’s most ferocious track, is transformed further into the sound of the sky tearing open as God demands sacrifice. Westerberg and bassist Algis Kizys create metallic sheets of sound that somehow sound quieter than Gira’s deranged barks. We get a full rendition here, as well as a “reprise” in the form of an excerpt of a London show in which the venue operator (not unreasonably) feared the impact of this music on the place’s PA system so much that he pulled the cord on the instruments, which has the truly nightmarish side effect of leaving on Gira’s mic live as he continues to scream into a sudden vacuum of silence...
From Auralaggravation.com: Recorded on the European tour supporting Children of God, it packs some storming live renditions of songs culled from Children of God performed during a quite specific peak of the band’s live career.
Swans have always pushed the limits live, and taken the songs to new and different levels of intensity and duration, and the eighteen-minute rendition of ‘Blind Love’ on offer here is a prime example. It’s barely recognisable, and despite being led by a simple acoustic guitar, it’s absolutely fucking punishing – and not necessarily in a good way: Gira’s elongated notes and wordless, formless yells are uncomfortable, a raging beast tortured and pained, while the guitar and rhythm section batter away without mercy. The drums are brutal. Having witnessed Swans live post-millennium, I have come to appreciate that nothing short of nuclear annihilation can convey the sheer force and volume of Swans live. However, Feel Good Now definitely goes a long way to capture the intensity of that volume... The sawing churn of ‘Like a Drug’ is pulverising, brutal, nauseating, and while ‘Children of God’ may only run for five and a half minutes, the effect is something else, the drumming thumping relentlessly in rolls of pure assault. Gira hollers impenetrably into the void as Jarboe ‘s voice floats effortlessly and with grace and true beauty over the ugly, pounding mess.
‘Beautiful Child Reprise’ is so savage as to be almost unlistenable long before it gets to the ‘Kill, kill, kill’ chant. It will come as no surprise for anyone who’s encountered Swans’ pre-85 live material, but fuck me. If one band could be considered to define excruciating sonic brutality, it’s Swans...