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Swans - Time Is Money (Bastard) CD (album) cover

TIME IS MONEY (BASTARD)

Swans

 

Post Rock/Math rock

3.00 | 2 ratings

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Prog Sothoth
3 stars Technically the first release of the 'dollar sign' era, this EP marks the transition from the pummeling sludge of their Cop/Young God days to their equally dark yet more industrial and experimental explorations. "Time Is Money (Bastard)" opens violently with a looped nail-gun resonating like a jack-hammer while Jarboe screams like a banshee before the song segues into a rhythmic, danceable clamor. This would be Jarboe's memorable introduction to her presence in the band, but only later would her role really expand regarding their work. Ronaldo Gonzalez's live drums combine with Gira's programming to make for one hell of a cool percussive racket while he recites some of his most provocative lyrics in a ferocious manner. Rarely has he ever sounded this angry and unhinged.

The 'mix' version of this song can also be found here, with an extended length and some alterations, including the lack of Jarboe's caterwauls. A slightly shortened version of this track is what can be found on reissues and compilations concerning the Greed/Holy Money era. It actually bugs me that some versions of their early songs on their original releases are so hard to come by these days, with the reissues changing certain things up and omitting a couple of tunes.

The other track, "Sealed In Skin", is more of a slow ominous dirge, in which Gira uses a deep low voice, which was actually rather novel at the time. Even more notable was the strong presence of a piano carrying the tune along with the drums, in which this was apparently the first time a piano was used in their music.

It's an interesting release in that it bridges the changes the band was undergoing while still possessing plenty of harrowing characteristics, particularly the original rendition of the title track. Certainly something to check out for those interested into digging into the band's 80's material.

Prog Sothoth | 3/5 |

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