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FILTH

Swans

Post Rock/Math rock


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Swans Filth album cover
3.98 | 27 ratings | 2 reviews | 38% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1983

Songs / Tracks Listing

Side A

1. Stay Here (5:44)
2. Big Strong Boss (3:07)
3. Blackout (3:49)
4. Power for Power (6:03)

Side B

1. Freak (1:15)
2. Right Wrong (4:48)
3. Thank You (3:56)
4. Weakling (5:30)
5. Gang (3:20)

Lyrics

Search SWANS Filth lyrics

Music tabs (tablatures)

Search SWANS Filth tabs

Line-up / Musicians


- Michael Gira / bass guitar, vocals, tapes
- Jonathan Kane / drums, percussion
- Roli Mosimann / drums, percussion, tapes
- Norman Westberg / guitar
- Harry Crosby / bass guitar

Releases information

Neutral Records 1983

Thanks to The Truth for the addition
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SWANS Filth ratings distribution


3.98
(27 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(38%)
38%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(31%)
31%
Good, but non-essential (23%)
23%
Collectors/fans only (4%)
4%
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)
4%

SWANS Filth reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE Team
4 stars The debut album by SWANS is a full-on no wave experience which was a splinter from the punk culture in New York City in the late 70s and early 80s. It was in contrast to the new wave movement that it was specifically in reaction against which threw out melody and added healthy doses of abrasive atonal sounds, hypnotic repetition of rhythms with the emphasis on musical texture.

I have also heard it referred to as a branch of noise rock and that does have validity to it since there seems to be regular rhythmic drumming that is the canvass for all kinds of chaotic sounds to flow around creating strange swells of sound. The fact is that despite being called no wave this reminds me of the waves in the ocean in a way where they come ashore in regular intervals but each one has its own chaos embedded in its regularities. Swirling in eddies and irregular patterns until they crash violently against the land.

SWANS takes the no wave approach into new arenas. They were one of the few no wave bands to actually stick around long enough to develop their own sound and this debut album has been described as "the ideal soundtrack for mass suicides or nuclear holocausts." Hardcore it is with it's depression inducing stridency and total lack of anything remotely melodic with the distortion of heavy psych and the screamed vocals that remind me a bit of the sludge metal band Neurosis. Also in the mix are industrial type sounds that add yet another layer of bleakness and robotic detachment from finding that happy space. This is dark and sinister sounding. Despite having little melody the undulating sonic waves are strangely addicting making this unique experience a very interesting debut album.

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Review by Dobermensch
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I don't know about you but this gets me pumped up like nothing else and I'm now ready to take on the heavyweight champion of the world. Without gloves...

This first Lp by Swans is also one of their best. 'Mr angry' Michael Gira vents his spleen at all who are willing to listen. Agonised barks and shouted vocals about control and violence are at the forefront throughout this beastly 1983 outing. Seriously... this can't have been good for his health at all. His blood pressure must have been through the roof. The man clearly had some issues.

The music within sounds like how the iconic cover looks - visceral. It's a weirdly paced explosive Blitzkrieg of an album.

It's brutal stuff from beginning to end. There's no variation in mood and it's all atonal and nihilistic. Having dual drummers and a thumping repetitive non melodic bass makes a huge impact on the overall bludgeoning sound. It's like being repeatedly hit over the head with a shovel . Not just musically, but lyrically too, as lines are growled many times over. Subtle use of electronics and tapes add an extra dimension - it's incongruous hearing backward wobbly vocals on such a raw album

Deliberately there's no let up. No break in mood, just an all encompassing, pulverising psychic attack. 'Filth' is more lively than their following 3 albums which just leave you feeling shattered. This is therefore a less dismal listening experience. 'Filth' is an ideal listen for participating in endurance sports, as it squeezes every ounce of blood out of your pores.

The guitars played by Norman Westberg sound like some crazed Doctor sawing through bones. They're mean and dark and sound like they're being played with shards of glass rather than plectrums. They are used solely in conjunction with the pounding drums.

Some have called this the heaviest record ever made. It's not. My vote for that award probably goes to 'Dissecting Table', 'Merzbow' or early 'Controlled Bleeding'. However it certainly must be the heaviest album to appear in the 'Archives'. I'm sure most of this websites readers would feel as though they're being run over by a steam-roller in slow motion on first exposure to this aural assault.

'Filth' is an exhilirating and intense experience which will leave you baying for blood. If the Marquis de Sade were alive today, I'm sure it would have been his favourite 'Desert Island Disc'.

You can put the party hats and streamers away folks.

This is military boot camp stuff run by an angry drill Sergeant, so get down on your hands and knees and give me 100 press-ups. Now!

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