Speakers Push Air

December 30, 2010, 3:40 pm
Filed under: 2010 Top 25

download Swans – Reeling The Liars In

download Swans – Jim

An admission: I was never as into Swans as I probably “should” have been. I respected them, sure, was in awe of how damned intense they were, lapped up stories of the sheer brutality of their live performances. But somehow Time Is Money (Bastard) and Raping A Slave were never regular  plays round my house. And I haven’t paid that much attention to Gira’s post-Swans career either, the dark folk stuff on his Young God Records.

But Jesus H Christ, this reunion album is a revelation. A blistering mix of old Swans total commitment noise and a country / folk quality from Gira’s later work. At times it’s like The Bad Seeds at their peak if Blixa Bargeld had got his way more often and Cave had been more “for real”. This album is near perfect, that near-impossible blend of ecstasy and dread that so few bands can pull off. Most of the time I’ve no idea what Gira’s upset about, but there’s no doubting his utter fucking sincerity. There’s some beautiful, ruminative stuff on here but it’s the opening No Words / No Thoughts and the absolutely epic Jim that really blew me away.

A great big gorgeous ugly monolith of an album then. Gutted to have missed the reportedly phenomenal reunion shows too.

buy it

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