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Swans Filth album cover
3.88 | 44 ratings | 4 reviews | 35% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1983

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Stay Here (5:44)
2. Big Strong Boss (3:07)
3. Blackout (3:49)
4. Power For Power (6:03)
5. Freak (1:15)
6. Right Wrong (4:48)
7. Thank You (3:56)
8. Weakling (5:30)
9. Gang (3:20)

Total time 37:32

Bonus track on 2015 remaster:
10. Live tracks At The Kitchen NYC 1982/3 (24:18) :
- a) Strip/Burn
- b) Heatsheet
- c) Blackout
- d) Clay Man
- e) Stay Here
- f) Weakling

Bonus CD #1 from 2015 bundled reissues:
- "Body to Body, Job to Job" 1991 compilation -
1. I'll Cry For You 5:41
2. Red Sheet 3:11
3. Loop 33 0:59
4. Your Game 3:57
5. Seal It Over 3:48
6. Whore 3:56
7. We'll Hang For That 3:55
8. Half Life 3:57
9. Loop 21 1:26
10. Get Out 3:31
11. Job 5:40
12. Loop 1 1:01
13. Mother, My Body Disgusts Me 4:43
14. Cop 5:56
15. Only I Can Hear, Only I Can Touch. 2:41
16. Thug 9:44
17. Raping A Slave (Live tracks Berlin 1984) 9:02

Bonus CD #2 from 2015 bundled reissues:
- EP #1 -
1. Laugh 4:09
2. Speak 4:28
3. Take Advantage 4:35
4. Sensitive Skin 6:17
- Live tracks At CBGB, NYC, 1982-3 :
5. Living Arms 3:26
6. Howling Red Sheet 3:40
7. Big Strong Boss 2:46
8. Clay Man 4:56
9. We'll Hang For That 4:38
- Live tracks At Heaven, London, 1984 :
10. This Is Mine 7:02
11. Why Hide 8:36
12. I Crawled 7:06

Line-up / Musicians

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

With:- Bob Pezzola / guitar (1982 EP & Live tracks)
- Daniel Galli-Duani / sax (1982 EP)
- Sue Hanel (Live tracks)
- Mojo (Live tracks)
- Dan Braun (Live tracks)
- Thurston Moore (Live tracks)
- Craig Cafton (Live tracks)
- Jonathan Prosser (Live tracks)

Releases information

Artwork: Paul A. Taylor

LP Neutral Records ‎- N11 (1983, US)

3xCD Young God Records ‎- YG48 (2015, US) Remastered w/ bonus Live track & bundled w/ 2 reissues: 1991 compilation "Boby to Body" (Out-takes & Live recordings) and 1982 EP#1 plus Live recordings

Thanks to The Truth for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy SWANS Filth Music

$20.34 (used)
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Filth * Deluxe by Swans (2015-08-03)Filth * Deluxe by Swans (2015-08-03)
$52.11 (used)
Filth/Body to Body Job to Job [Jewel Case] By Swans (2000-03-20)Filth/Body to Body Job to Job [Jewel Case] By Swans (2000-03-20)
Young God
$141.57 (used)

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SWANS Filth ratings distribution

(44 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(35%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (26%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

SWANS Filth reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
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.

Review by Dobermensch
4 stars I don't know about you but this gets me pumped up like nothing else and I'm now ready to burst through walls with bare fists.

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!

Review by Warthur
4 stars With Jonathan Kane and Roli Mosimann's duelling percussion creating the impression of an angry heroin-addicted trash can stomping down the street intent on mugging you, the Swans' debut album is as pure an expression of their early No Wave sound as you could expect to find. Though subsequent releases like Cop can become introverted and impenetrable, the sound of Filth hooks you instantly with its raw ugliness; far from being indirect or oblique, it comes at you straight and true and confronts you with a hideous musical vision.

Whilst heavier albums in terms of sheer downtuned riffage have emerged over the years, few releases have ever felt so misanthropic and violent. I am fairly sure nobody was bloodily beaten to death during the recording of this album, but if they were I'm not sure it would change the sound appreciably.

Latest members reviews

3 stars The world through The Fall's Paul Spector's eyes: 7/10 If black metal brings images of dense, foggy trees, FILTH is illustrated both by rusty, abandoned factories and by darkened alleyways of decaying metropolises. SWANS' debut's combination of No Wave's unmelodic heavy dissonance and Industr ... (read more)

Report this review (#1787798) | Posted by Luqueasaur | Wednesday, September 27, 2017 | Review Permanlink

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