Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

SWANS

Post Rock/Math rock • United States


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Swans picture
Swans biography
Part of the original No Wave scene in the early 1980's, the New York City rock band SWANS has since become one of the most respected experimental rock outfits to the present. Led by the visionary vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Michael GIRA, SWANS operated for nearly two decades from their inception in 1983, he is also well known producer. His daunting and impressive songwriting abilities created some of the strangest and revolutionary music to date. Influences of post-rock are seen in numerous records, notable in Soundtracks for the Blind, which predates a lot of the crescendo-core stuff, and the band has influenced numerous post-rock bands with their ever expanding sound and advanced technical approach to rock music. Although they broke up in 1997, SWANS reunited in 2010 to record two more albums, My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky and The Seer.

Bio written by The Truth(Tanner)and updated by zravkapt(Darryl)

Swans official website

SWANS MP3, Free Download (music stream)


Open extended player in a new pop-up window | Random Playlist (50) | How to submit new MP3s

SWANS forum topics / tours, shows & news


SWANS forum topics Create a topic now
SWANS tours, shows & news
No topics found for : "swans"
Post an entries now

SWANS Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Search and add more videos to SWANS

Buy SWANS Music


Children of God / World of SkinChildren of God / World of Skin
Remastered
YOUNG GOD 2003
Audio CD$14.34
$13.99 (used)
White Light From the Mouth of InfinityWhite Light From the Mouth of Infinity
Young God Records 2015
Audio CD$16.00
$15.99 (used)
Soundtracks for the BlindSoundtracks for the Blind
Soundtrack
YOUNG GOD 2001
Audio CD$16.48
$31.50 (used)
To Be KindTo Be Kind
YOUNG GOD 2014
Vinyl$25.02
SeerSeer
Special Edition
YOUNG GOD 2012
Audio CD$11.56
$6.94 (used)
Cop / Young God / Greed / Holy MoneyCop / Young God / Greed / Holy Money
Import
Universal UK 2010
Audio CD$8.12
$11.99 (used)
FilthFilth
Young God 2014
Vinyl$14.20
$24.99 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
SWANS The Seer 2 x CD + DVD 2014 (CD : 11 Tracks) Digipak NEW & SEALED USD $22.34 Buy It Now 2h 18m
Swans - Filth - 2015 3CD (Brand New) USD $18.68 Buy It Now 2h 20m
ED ASKEW / BLACK SWANS - SPLIT 7 NEW VINYL USD $12.04 Buy It Now 2h 32m
SUFJAN STEVENS The Dress Looks Nice On You EU VINYL PC 45 Borderline SEVEN SWANS USD $69.99 Buy It Now 2h 47m
Swans - Cop/young God/greed NEW CD USD $12.61 Buy It Now 3h 19m
DEAD SWANS - SLEEPWALKERS NEW CD USD $19.32 Buy It Now 3h 30m
DISSECTING TABLE 2xCD Vasilisk Gaze Campaign Hijokaidan Incapacitants Swans IRM USD $16.99 Buy It Now 3h 36m
Swans Way - The Fugitive Kind - free UK postage USD $15.33 Buy It Now 3h 48m
Michael Martin Murphey - Swans Against The Sun USD $3.00 Buy It Now 4h 42m
DEATHPILE Final Confession double LP merzbow prurient wolf eyes pharmakon swans USD $9.99 [0 bids]
USD $12.99 Buy It Now
5h 43m
YELLOW SWANS - AT ALL ENDS NEW CD USD $20.77 Buy It Now 6h 15m
MICHAEL MURPHEY - SWANS AGAINST THE SUN (LP CBS 1975) USD $4.99 Buy It Now 6h 31m
THE WILD SWANS YOUNG MANHOOD PROMO 12" USD $9.99 Buy It Now 7h 14m
Wild Swans - Space Flower [CD New] USD $5.99 Buy It Now 8h 7m
SWANS The Seer 3x LP NEW VINYL Young God Jarboe Karen O Akron Family USD $35.99 Buy It Now 10h 5m
ROLLING STONES - SWANS, SAILS AND OZZIE ALES - 4 CD USD $69.99 Buy It Now 10h 22m
FRAU POUCH/PUNCHING SWANS - Mr Insipid. rare UK 4 track CD (Buy 3 = Free P USD $2.86 Buy It Now 10h 46m
SUN SAWED IN 1 / 2 - ELEPHANTS INTO SWANS NEW CD USD $19.78 Buy It Now 11h
Swans Way Soul Train 7" vinyl single record UK EXT3 EXIT 1983 USD $14.37 Buy It Now 11h 19m
DINGUS KHAN - SUPPORT MISTLEY SWANS (UK) NEW CD USD $17.36 Buy It Now 11h 19m
Swans Way The Anchor 7" vinyl single record UK PH31 BALGIER 1984 USD $15.83 Buy It Now 11h 26m
Soul Train Swans Way 7" vinyl single record UK EXT3 PHONOGRAM 1983 USD $14.37 Buy It Now 11h 27m
Mega Rare Singapore The Swans Band Instrumental Music Retro Psych 12" CLP2214 USD $34.99 Buy It Now 12h 3m
Singapore The Swans Band & His Folk Instrumental Music G/F 12" LP CLP2218 USD $14.99 Buy It Now 12h 6m
Swans Way Soul Train 12" vinyl single record (Maxi) UK EXT312 EXIT 1984 USD $17.28 Buy It Now 12h 9m
2LP SWANS - White Light From The Mouth Of Infinity YOUNG GOD RECORDS YGLP3 rare USD $30.00 [0 bids]
12h 25m
Wild Swans vinyl LP album record The Peel Sessions UK SFPS006 STRANGE FRUIT USD $23.06 Buy It Now 12h 30m
RAT AT RAT R LP Neutral RARE SWANS Sonic Youth NO WAVE MINT USD $46.69 Buy It Now 13h 9m
MOTHERHEAD BUG Zambodia Cassette RARE SWANS NYC Art Rock RAILROAD JERK USD $33.98 Buy It Now 13h 22m
MOTHERHEAD BUG Raised by Dwarfs Cassette RARE SWANS NYC Art Rock RAILROAD JERK USD $71.99 Buy It Now 13h 22m
JARBOE & IGNIS FATUUS Cache Toi 7" PIC DISC SWANS NEW Vinyl USD $36.95 Buy It Now 13h 22m
Swans COP Japan Vinyl LP with OBI Promo Copy Michael Gira Industrial New Wave USD $169.99 Buy It Now 13h 35m
(EO88) Bill Ryder Jones, Wild Swans - 2013 DJ CD USD $4.32 Buy It Now 13h 36m
SWANS - FILTH NEW VINYL USD $25.01 Buy It Now 13h 46m
NEKO CASE job lot of 2 promo CD singles Night Still Comes City Swans USD $5.77 Buy It Now 13h 54m
SWANS - MY FATHER WILL GUIDE ME UP A ROPE TO THE SKY NEW VINYL USD $25.01 Buy It Now 14h
SWANS WAY Japan 1984 White label PROMO NM LP+Obi THE FUGITIVE KIND USD $29.99 Buy It Now 15h 58m
SWANS THE SEER VINYL LP USD $10.50 [0 bids]
16h 21m
SWANS White Light / Love Of Life 3 LP/CD/Poster Box Set DLX Ltd Edt NEW Unopened USD $79.99 Buy It Now 16h 42m
Space Flower [Bonus Tracks] by Wild Swans (CD, Feb-2008, Wounded Bird) USD $3.95 Buy It Now 18h 28m
Punk Alt/Indie Metal 4 LP Lot-1980s-Bitter Uproar,Ed Gein's Car,Swans,CBGBs-NY USD $29.99 [1 bids]
20h 27m
RARE ADV PROMO Idaho CASSETTE TAPE Year After Year WEST INDIAN GIRL Swans Foetus USD $19.99 Buy It Now 20h 35m
Punk Alt/Indie Metal 4 LP NYC Lot-1980s-XTC,MX 80 Sound,Fugitive Vesco,Swans USD $24.99 [0 bids]
20h 37m
Punk Alt/Indie Metal 4 LP NYC Lot-1980s-Damage,Meat Puppets,Live Skull, Swans USD $24.99 [0 bids]
20h 40m
Turn Loose the Swans [Special Edition] [Digipak] by My Dying Bride (CD,... USD $13.95 Buy It Now 22h 5m
YELLOW SWANS / DEVILLOCK split 7" modern radio WOLF EYES UNPLAYED USD $9.99 Buy It Now 22h 22m
WILD SWANS - SPACE FLOWER NEW CD USD $4.57 Buy It Now 22h 58m
SWANS 'To Be Kind' Gatefold Vinyl 3LP NEW & SEALED USD $38.99 Buy It Now 1 day
TASMANIAN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA - WILD SWANS NEW CD USD $7.08 Buy It Now 1 day
THE NEW THEATRE COMPANY Gaze Not On Swans - Madrigal 78 HMV B10177 USD $18.78 Buy It Now 1 day
Swans - My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky [Vinyl New] USD $20.94 Buy It Now 1 day
GABRIEL SALOMAN Soldier's Requiem LP NEW VINYL Miasmah Yellow Swans Pete Swanson USD $25.99 Buy It Now 1 day
NAT KENDRICK AND THE SWANS- DO THE MASH POTATOES PART 1-2- 45 RPM RECORD- USD $9.97 Buy It Now 1 day
SWANS WAY, THE ANCHOR 7", PHONOGRAM RECORDS USD $1.43 [0 bids]
1 day
My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky, 5051083079006, Swans USD $18.51 Buy It Now 1 day
THE WILD SWANS YOUNG MANHOOD 12'' SINGLE RECORD USD $19.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Hello, Goodbye Jonathan Kane & Swans Mag Cutting USD $9.40 Buy It Now 1 day
Swans a retrospective Article USD $9.40 Buy It Now 1 day
Black Swans And Wormhole Wizards by Joe Satriani (CD, Oct-2010, Sony Music... USD $13.95 Buy It Now 1 day
My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky [Digipak] by Swans (CD,... USD $13.95 Buy It Now 1 day
The Great Annihilator by Swans (CD, Jan-1995, Young God) USD $13.95 Buy It Now 1 day
Elephants Into Swans by The Sun Sawed in 1/2 (CD, Jan-2013, CD Baby... USD $14.95 Buy It Now 1 day
At All Ends by Yellow Swans (CD, Feb-2007, Load Records) USD $14.95 Buy It Now 1 day
To Be Kind [PA] [Digipak] by Swans (CD, May-2014, 2 Discs, Young God) USD $14.99 Buy It Now 1 day
The Seer [Digipak] by Swans (CD, Aug-2012, 2 Discs, Young God) USD $14.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Various Failures 1988-1992 by Swans (CD, Feb-1999, 2 Discs, Young God) USD $15.95 Buy It Now 1 day
Filth/Body to Body, Job to Job by Swans (CD, Mar-2000, 2 Discs, Young God) USD $15.95 Buy It Now 1 day
Children of God/World of Skin by Swans (CD, May-2003, 2 Discs, Young God... USD $15.95 Buy It Now 1 day
Swans Way Illuminations UK 12" vinyl single record (Maxi) PH512 BALGIER 1984 USD $17.26 Buy It Now 1 day
Illuminations Swans Way UK 7" vinyl single record PH5 BALGIER/PHONOGRAM 1984 USD $15.83 Buy It Now 1 day
Skin [Swans] Girl: Come Out 7" vinyl single record UK 7PROD6 PRODUCT INC. 1987 USD $23.77 Buy It Now 1 day
Theme From The Balcony Swans Way UK 7" vinyl single record 7EXIT2 EXIT 1982 USD $15.83 Buy It Now 1 day
KING DUDE Fear Diecut DigiCD Vn Chelsea Wolfe Death In June Swans Dark Folk USD $14.90 Buy It Now 1 day
KING DUDE Songs of Flesh & Blood DigiCD Vn Chelsea Wolfe Swans Death In June USD $14.90 Buy It Now 1 day
KING DUDE My Beloved Ghost DigiCD Vn Chelsea Wolfe Death In June Swans Darkfolk USD $12.90 Buy It Now 1 day
Swans 2015 3x CD DELUXE EDITION White Light From The Mouth ... USD $20.23 Buy It Now 1 day
KING DUDE Love DigiCD Vn Chelsea Wolfe Death In June Swans Dark Folk USD $14.40 Buy It Now 1 day
WILD SWANS: Coldest Winter for a Hundred Years Expanded CD, mint USD $10.12 Buy It Now 1 day
SWANS ?Holy Money Vinyl 1986 1st Pressing PVC 8952 Rare LP USD $70.00 Buy It Now 1 day
SWANS To Be Kind 3x LP NEW VINYL Young God Noise Post Rock USD $37.99 Buy It Now 1 day
SWANS My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope to the Sky LP NEW VINYL Young God Art USD $24.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Xiu Xiu - Knife Play Vinyl LP New (Yeah Yeah Yeahs Deerhoof Yellow Swans) USD $13.99 [0 bids]
1 day
PUNCHING SWANS - Pecked To Death. rare UK 1 track CD +press (Buy 3 = Free P USD $1.43 [0 bids]
1 day
THE BLACK SWANS Don't Blame The Stars VINYL LP SEALED USD $17.94 Buy It Now 1 day
1 CENT CD Occasion For Song - The Black Swans USD $1.62 [2 bids]
1 day
1 CENT CD Swans Against The Sun - Michael Martin Murphey USD $0.01 [1 bids]
1 day
SWANS SONGS - VARIOUS ARTISTS - CD - THE AFL USD $7.08 Buy It Now 1 day
THE WILD SWANS-Mint Vinyl PROMO 12" Single (1988)-Young Manhood-LP Version USD $12.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Turn Loose the Swans [Special Edition] [Digipak] by My Dying Bride (CD,... USD $9.52 Buy It Now 1 day
SWEET TOOTH Soft White CS ORG.90 PRS Godflesh Jesu Head of David God Scorn Swans USD $12.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Black Swans And Wormhole Wizards by Joe Satriani (CD, Oct-2010, Sony Music... USD $9.06 Buy It Now 1 day
THE SWANS **MY FATHER WILL GUIDE ME UP A ROPE TO THE SKY *NEW RECORD LP VINYL USD $18.96 Buy It Now 1 day
My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky [Digipak] by Swans (CD,... USD $11.16 Buy It Now 1 day
SWANS - LOVE OF LIFE NEW VINYL USD $23.39 Buy It Now 1 day
Swans - Filth LP - SEALED - NEW COPY USD $19.99 Buy It Now 1 day
POWER MONSTER "Fantasy Fracture" cassette pharmakon swans throbbing gristle USD $5.00 [0 bids]
USD $7.00 Buy It Now
1 day
Swans - To Be Kind - 3 x LP - Sealed - NEW COPY USD $29.99 Buy It Now 1 day
(EB190) Bill Ryder Jones, Wild Swans - 2013 DJ CD USD $4.32 Buy It Now 1 day
To Be Kind 5051083079266 by Swans, CD, BRAND NEW FREE P&H USD $25.84 Buy It Now 1 day
Yellow Swans Psychic Secession Weird 16 2006 Sides 1,2,4 NM- 3 VG+ Ltd 900 180g USD $14.99 Buy It Now 1 day


More places to buy SWANS music online Buy SWANS & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
  • AmazonMP3: Search for SWANS DRM-Free MP3 Downloads @ AmazonMP3 (USA Only) | AmazonMP3 (UK Only)

SWANS shows & tickets


SWANS has no upcoming shows, according to LAST.FM syndicated events and shows feed

SWANS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

SWANS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.98 | 27 ratings
Filth
1983
3.15 | 21 ratings
Cop
1984
3.36 | 19 ratings
Greed
1986
3.67 | 19 ratings
Holy Money
1986
4.54 | 44 ratings
Children of God
1987
3.13 | 20 ratings
The Burning World
1989
4.13 | 31 ratings
White Light From the Mouth of Infinity
1991
3.42 | 19 ratings
Love of Life
1992
3.85 | 32 ratings
The Great Annihilator
1995
4.25 | 42 ratings
Soundtracks for the Blind
1996
3.93 | 31 ratings
My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky
2010
4.11 | 109 ratings
The Seer
2012
4.00 | 142 ratings
To Be Kind
2014

SWANS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.50 | 10 ratings
Public Castration is a Good Idea
1986
4.67 | 3 ratings
Feel Good Now
1987
4.50 | 4 ratings
Anonymous Bodies in an Empty Room
1990
5.00 | 2 ratings
Real Love
1992
4.50 | 2 ratings
Omniscience
1992
5.00 | 1 ratings
Kill the Child: 1985/1986/1987 Live
1995
4.15 | 8 ratings
Swans Are Dead
1998
4.14 | 7 ratings
We Rose From Your Bed with the Sun in Our Head
2012
4.25 | 8 ratings
Not Here / Not Now
2013
3.33 | 3 ratings
The Gate
2015

SWANS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

SWANS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.32 | 3 ratings
Body to Body, Job to Job
1991
4.00 | 4 ratings
Various Failures 1988-1992
1999
0.00 | 0 ratings
Forever Burned
2003

SWANS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.71 | 7 ratings
Swans
1982
2.12 | 6 ratings
Young God
1984
3.09 | 3 ratings
A Screw
1986
3.00 | 2 ratings
Time Is Money (Bastard)
1986
4.00 | 7 ratings
Die Tr ist zu
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
Oxygen
2014

SWANS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky by SWANS album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.93 | 31 ratings

BUY
My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky
Swans Post Rock/Math rock

Review by witchfinder_general

4 stars I listen to Swans for a very long time, i love their proggresive/experimental rock with some improvisational elements style. Their music just hit me "like diamond bullet straight through my forhead", just like Godspeed You! Black Emperor few years ago. Every album is different so its hard to rate their particular piece of work.

Doesnt matter what people say, this is great album, better than the new ones but a little weaker than the oldies. Production is just perfect - all instruments sound great, it sounds very harsh and heavy (not as heavy as in "childern...") but this is a good thing. Gira did a great job releasing this piece of art. But is it essential? I don't think so, it has everything except this "thing" called factor x, thing that "Soundtracks for the Blind" or "Children of God" had. It starts very psychedelic with "No Words/No Thoughts" its going very smooth through "Jim", "You [%*!#]ing people make me sick", "Inside Madeline" and ends very graceful with "Little Mouth". I love it!

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password
 The Great Annihilator by SWANS album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.85 | 32 ratings

BUY
The Great Annihilator
Swans Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Lewian

3 stars The Great Annihilator could be seen as something of a return to their darker beginnings, or on the other hand as a predecessor of their later development in "Seer" and "To Be Kind" (the next release "Soundtrack for the Blind" is quite different, though). Although there are three calmer songs on it, it's vast majority is dark, heavy, archaic, guitar oriented, and driven by monotonous rhythms, and as such it is among the most consistent Swans records. It also represents a turn after a number of more melodic records with folky elements, of which there are hardly any here. Obvious influences are darker new wave music such as Killing Joke, Joy Division and Dead can Dance, and on the other hand I feel reminded of early Krautrock; the beginning could have been in Amon Duul II's Phallus Dei but for the more 90s standard production here, and some of the more hypnotic parts make me associate early Can (this will become much stronger on Seer).

The monstrous wall of sound sometimes comes quite close to Seer, but Swans are just slightly less wild and crazy and more disciplined here. I like how the drums keep a good balance between a machine-like steadyness and well-dosed hints at urgency and overdrive, showing where this could go without really going there already (again, Seer is two steps further). Gira's voice is rather monotonous here, which gives the thing a stronger goth feel than other of their records. Also they didn't yet have the nerve to play out their orgies to 15+ minutes. Quite a number of songs are faded out and some faded in, making me believe that they may actually have been part of longer sessions, but they didn't yet consider it a good idea to put them on a record in full length.

The Great Annihilator is dark and atmospheric and I'd think it was an important step for the band foreshadowing what they'd be able to do in the 2010s. It's a good record for those who like this kind of atmosphere. On the other hand, it has a somewhat incomplete feel to it with a number of ideas tried out that would only be elaborated later, and is perhaps with all its obvious influences not as original and autonomous than many other Swans-releases. I like it but for my taste it's somehow eclipsed by Seer and To Be Kind, which I got to know earlier and which are far more radical and unique. Had I known this already in the 1990s, who knows, I may have given it more stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password
 Greed by SWANS album cover Studio Album, 1986
3.36 | 19 ratings

BUY
Greed
Swans Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Dobermensch
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I guess something had to give considering the pulverising onslaught of the previous recordings. 'Greed' reveals a stripped down 'Swans' and is a highly negatively charged album. It doesn't have the masochistic pleasure of the previous 'Cop'. Michael Gira's deep and aggressive vocals remain. He sounds like he has a cement mixer where his larynx should be.

There's no happy go lucky pub-knees-up to be heard anywhere in the vicinity of 'Swans' at the best of times and this is no exception. In fact this is probably their most miserable sounding album they released. The opener has the surprising inclusion of a piano. The half speed guitar plays the same 4 chord guitar sequence as Floyd's 'In the Flesh' and it's a real downer, so if you're not keen on heavy negative emotions you're advised to steer well clear.

Jarboe makes her first appearance as a member of Swans on 'Nobody' - a self-hating dirge that has some wonderfully apocalyptic 'Gira' vocals at the 3 minute mark as some crunching, repetitive drums appear. Jarboe's contribution is relegated to some 'oohs and ahhs' in the background. This is Swans' anti capitalist, money is evil recording. The drums are particularly well mixed in 'Greed' and have a doom-laden echoey feel. There's a clever approach on this album where quiet pauses are used which add to the overall feel of imminent looming disaster.

Musically it's nothing special. Quite poor in fact. It's the emotion and atmosphere it creates that raises this album above the sum of its parts. I wasn't aware of Michael Gira's state of mind until hearing this album which was the most vocal orientated to this point. You therefore pay more attention to what he's bumping his gums about - and it's not good. Not good at all. Clearly his brain was full of broken bottles.

The stodgy lethargy evaporates with the entirely Industrial 'Money is Flesh'. This is a repetitive, thumping, drum based mantra where once again it's the intense baritone and dominant vocals that make the track shine.

The undoubted highlight is the superb 'Time is Money'. An upbeat but really violent track with some very disturbing imagery. It's best I don't dwell on this here. Lets just say that it's sexual in nature. This is probably my favourite 'Swans' track of all time and it's also their most evil moment. The drums are pounding, relentless and machine-gun like. It's also guitar free. 'Gira' sings like he's just flown his kite into an overhead electrical pylon where he spits venom and vitriol from the outset. This is as loud as War itself.

'Greed' and its successor 'Holy Money' are two peas in the same pod. This could easily have been a double album but that would have left even the most strong willed left thoroughly suicidal.

The musicians must have left these recordings bewildered and totally dejected. There's no fun to be had at all. Every sound and beat is used as a vehicle for Michael Gira's demented, tortured and unhappy mindset.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password
 Holy Money by SWANS album cover Studio Album, 1986
3.67 | 19 ratings

BUY
Holy Money
Swans Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Dobermensch
Prog Reviewer

3 stars It can't have been a bundle of laughs on board the 'Swans' train while recording this. 'Holy Money' sounds like it's being played and sung by the undead from 'Zombie Flesh Eaters'. It's a heavy and bleak dirge despite the occasional Jarboe female vocals.

I guess it's good for clearing unwanted guests from a late night party as those irritating stragglers hang about chatting 10 feet from the door. The atmosphere is oppressive as you'd expect, but it's less of a barrage with a bit of space to breathe compared to their first recordings. And that's not necessarily a good thing...

'Holy Money' like its predecessor 'Greed' is certainly no uplifting experience and lacks the density and violence of those first two excellent sledgehammer albums. In saying that, there is the rather impressive 'A Screw'. Spoken, rather than shouted lyrics are wrapped around a hugely repetitive and heavy stomping drum sequence.

This is one of the first 'Swans' recordings I bought and I was as unimpressed then as I am now 22 years later. It's one of those albums that just rubs me up the wrong way. I find it something of an an annoyance to sit through in its entirety. It's too 'dead'.

The only truly great song is the battering 'Money is Flesh', with its superb jackhammer drums and repetitive lyrics. It's real heavy stuff listeners... and almost guitar free. Michael Gira sounds so much more acceptable to my damaged ears when he's screaming, spitting blood and spouting venom.

Jarboe's 'Blackmail' is a jarring oddity which may well have fit on a different recording. The soft piano and pretty vocal style is totally at odds with bulk of 'Holy Money'. It's like trying to put on a pair of gloves that have four fingers. Annoying.

I'm in a generous mood and full of gin and orange, and therefore find it hard to give it any less than 3 stars. It was a close run thing though.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password
 Filth by SWANS album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.98 | 27 ratings

BUY
Filth
Swans Post Rock/Math rock

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!

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password
 To Be Kind by SWANS album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.00 | 142 ratings

BUY
To Be Kind
Swans Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Well this was my introduction to SWANS and lets just say i'm impressed. The negatives for me are few with this double album but include the over 2 hours running time and also the lyrics which don't do a lot for me. This New York City band have been around since the early eighties and have had several phases if you will. The music on this recording is dark, experimental, powerful, angry, repetitive and atmospheric. I do think Post-Rock works as a sub-genre for them although "Experimental" and "Avant" would work although I do feel the spirit of GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR is in this music even though this band preceeds them. Lots of different instruments are used as well.

"Screen Shot" is one of my favourites. We get this catchy and repetitive rhythm that is quite sparse but it builds some. It turns more powerful after 7 minutes as the intensity increases. "Just A Little Boy(For Chester Burnett)" is sparse and dark to start as almost spoken vocals arrive after 2 minutes. The vocals become more intense before 5 minutes and we get some creepy sampled laughter that comes and goes. Some intense outbursts will come and go as well. "A Little God In My Hands" has this catchy repetitive rhythm throughout. Vocals a minute in, then a female vocal line is repeated after 4 minutes. Experimental sounds around 5 1/2 minutes in to the end including electronics as the vocals have stopped.

"Bring The Sun/ Toussaint L'ouverture" is over 34 minutes! It's spacey to start then it kicks in hard. A calm after 2 1/2 minutes and vocal expressions arrive a minute later. A vocal line is repeated starting after 5 minutes. It's picking up around 9 1/2 minutes as the vocal line stops and singing begins but again it's repeated over and over. A sawing sound arrives before 17 minutes and then we hear a horse on cobblestone before 18 1/2 minutes as experimental sounds continue along with distorted guitar sounds. A new section takes over around 21 minutes in that is mellow but then these angry vocals join in. I love the sound of the keys that echo. "Some Things We Do" ends disc one. A guitar line is joined by almost spoken vocals and atmosphere.

"She Loves Us" is another favourite of mine. A repetitive and heavy rhythm leads the way early on then we get a repetitive female vocal line as male vocals come and go over top. The vocals stop as it turns experimental and powerful. A catchy beat takes over after 7 minutes and vocals join in. Love this. It slowly becomes more powerful. "Kirsten Supine" opens with atmosphere and deep almost spoken vocals. I'm reminded somewhat of Beefheart here and i'm not the biggest fan of this section. It changes though after 5 1/2 minutes as a beat and more start to build Post-Rock style until it's insane. "Oxygen" has distorted guitar as the drums join in then these crazy vocals. A powerful tune that has some suspense to it. "Nathalie Neal" has these dual vocal melodies to start and they sound pretty cool. Sampled spoken words arrive and for some reason i'm thinking GY!BE. The words stop and the sound picks up. So good. "To Be Kind" opens beautifully with mellotron as reserved vocals join in. Some powerful outbreaks follow until it's a wall of sound.

I really look forward to reviewing many of their earlier albums and highly recommend this one to adventerous music fans.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password
 Holy Money by SWANS album cover Studio Album, 1986
3.67 | 19 ratings

BUY
Holy Money
Swans Post Rock/Math rock

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is the last full album in the Swans dollar sign series. This, just like all the previous albums, is very dirge-like and brutal throughout. It takes you down into the depths of the muddiest swamps of depression and darkness. Early Swans music is known for being the most brutal music out there, and this album is no exception to that. But you also begin to hear a little more experimentation in the music in this album, and you also get a short interlude sung by Jarboe ("You Need Me"), who would from this point forward have more of an influence in the overall sound of the music in the subsequent albums. This acts as a quick break in the otherwise extreme sound of this album.

But in the tracks like "A Hanging" and "Fool #2", you also hear a break away from the constant rhythm that usually would establish itself in previous Swans tracks and would remain mostly unchanging throughout each track. In this album, the rhythm, ground line and guitar follows a repetitive pattern as before, but now the sound will suddenly change mid-track, showing the band's new penchant for exploring sounds and possibilities in their music.

The album still features unrelenting heavy and depressing music and was considered post-punk at the time. At this point though, you will start hearing experimentation into post and math rock, and this works to this albums advantage and at even greater levels in future albums. As for now, most people will still find this music too heavy, but it is better than previous efforts as some variety and experimentation starts to show through. The music is better quality and the band shows interest in exploring new musical avenues. Of all the heavy, industrial sounding post punk albums from Swans, this one is the one I consider the best. This is a good introduction to the earlier discography, if you are inclined to explore this music that lives in the depths of dark human souls. 4 stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password
 Greed by SWANS album cover Studio Album, 1986
3.36 | 19 ratings

BUY
Greed
Swans Post Rock/Math rock

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars So after 2 full length albums and several E.P.s, Swans had established themselves as a loud, churning, dark and sludgy industrial punk sound with primitive rhythms and sounds and very hard to understand lyrics. Swans was a big underground hit and the fans knew what to expect, simple, repetitive tunes that made you feel like you were not just in a funeral dirge, but were being dragged behind the procession in the mud face down. Imagine their surprise when they heard the first track on this album "Greed".

Immediately, they knew a something had changed. What is this....a piano? And this sounds like Gira singing, but I can actually understand what he is chanting/singing. With this album, the slow change had started in Swans overall sound. Though it sounded quite drastic on the first track, even though it is still dark and repetitive, the band was ready to explore new ground.

Like I said, the album starts out with the song "Fool", a dissonant and heavy piano leading the way with the guitar providing background sounds, no hammering percussion and there are lyrics that you can understand. Yes they are still depressing and bleak and the vocals are dissonant and heavy, but there is an obvious change. After that, the sound turns back to the industrial slow dirge- like beat that the fans were used to, but the sound is not a full return to the overall sound from before. The lyrics are easier to decipher and the music isn't as unrelenting. The repetition follows throughout the album, but the lyrics are so much more hard hitting now that you can understand them.

There are some new things the band is trying here too. This is the first album to feature vocals from Jarboe, even though she is a background singer on the 2 tracks she sings on. The title track plods on for almost 3 and a half minutes with wordless vocals, more like a moan/gasp sound from Jarboe, before Gira starts to sing. The closest thing to the previous sound is on the track "Heaven" which, even though it isn't as loud as before, it is the slowest grind of the album with Gira doing his groaning/moaning/singing/droning as before. He's singing about "This is Heaven" like he is pissed about being there. Quite frankly, this is the most evil sounding of all of the tracks, but it is also the most progressive. You will get the odd looks if you play this in public, so yes, it is reminiscent of their previous material. The last track on the original album is "Money is Flesh" which uses a synthesizer playing the main riff instead of the guitar, but other than that, it still pounds it's way into your a brain like a sledgehammer.

So, it's repetitive and overall still quite loud and grinding. But there have been some levers inserted into the music and you see a band starting to develop and pull itself out of the muck of their previous punk-ish version of industrial music. The music would continue to develop with each album after this and things would get better. As the band approaches more of a post-punk, mathcore sound, the music slowly gets better until they actually and surprisingly begin to produce some very innovative music. But as far as this album, it's still a long way from where they would end up. But it is interesting to hear where they came from and how they developed. This is better than previous albums, but not by much. I have to give them props though for having the courage to develop their music and their talents. This is progression, but not yet progressive. I will give this 3 stars simply because it is an attempt to try new things for the band. But it's still not easy to listen to too often.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password
 Young God by SWANS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1984
2.12 | 6 ratings

BUY
Young God
Swans Post Rock/Math rock

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

2 stars This is hard, heavy and sludgy all the way through. The same thing that you would expect to hear from early Swans music. There isn't any let up in it's heaviness. It is very primitive sounding and repetitive. Many consider it industrial and that is a good way to describe it, but don't expect a fast beat, it is more like a churning industrial noise more than anything. Even though it might be slightly more experimental than some of the albums the Swans released early in their career, it is still that harsh sound. The first track, "I Crawled" is probably the best of the 4 tracks on this 24 minute EP, and it shows a lot of promise as to prog tendencies, but other than that, it is not much in the way of being progressive. Swans later releases will adopt more progressive elements as time goes on, but don't look for them here.

Some people might find it interesting that Kurt Cobain considered this E.P. his fiftieth most favorite album ever, even though he called the album "Raping a Slave" after the 2nd track. The album has also been known as "I Crawled", but the band refers to it as "Young God" so that is considered the official title.

If you do like the dark, depressive sound of Swans earlier music, then this is a must have. The E.P. itself may not be available now because it was eventually combined with the album "Cop". The overall sound is the same as that album and also "Filth" but slightly more experimental. It has been considered the most brutal of all of their releases. I personally find it easier to listen to it in the E.P. format because it is so harsh and repetitive. It's easier to take early Swans material in smaller doses like this.

Because of the inclusion of this album on the re-issue of "God", it is now only an album that will interest collectors and fans. For that reason I give it 2 stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password
 Die Tr ist zu by SWANS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1996
4.00 | 7 ratings

BUY
Die Tr ist zu
Swans Post Rock/Math rock

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This album is considered an E.P. even though it runs for almost an hour. I think the reason for the E.P. label is because it is actually a collection of outtakes, new German versions and live versions of previous songs. It was released only in Germany between the albums "The Great Annihilator" and "Soundtracks for the Blind" This is a very post rock sounding album which incorporates droning at times, starkness and minimalism at time and harshness and extreme loud passages at others. This creates a very versatile album with hardly a dull moment. This will be a track by track review of the album.

1) Ligeti's Breath/Hiflos Kind is a very extended german-language version of "The Helpless Child" from the album "Soundtracks for the Blind" which was to be released later. This track is over 20 minutes long and was the longest track thus far by Swans. The first 8 1/2 minutes is mostly a drone which alternates between noisiness and quietness in long doses. The sound is always moving, at one point the drone is played underneath a calliope sounding music and at another point the drone is more to the foreground and competing with sounds like a crowd or mob-like noise. The music stays quite interesting and then suddenly gets quiet as the vocals stars, in German. This is a beautiful song and a very surprisingly great performance by Gira, the language not being an issue as the melody is very nice. The music stays quiet for a while and then builds to where some strong guitar chords are stuck around the 15 1/2 minute mark. It stays instrumental and almost mid-tempo as it plays out the rest of the song. A great track full of a lot of sound, beauty, dissonance and dynamic changes. For twenty minutes, this goes by quite quickly.

2) A track from Gira's solo "Drainland" album called "I See Them All Lined Up" gets the German language treatment next in a track called "Ich sehe die Alle in einer Reihe" . This one alternates from a spoken word sounding vocal track with minimalistic dirge-like background to a very loud guitar driven instrumental, almost reminiscent of Swans early work. Stark and very heavy at times. No level of beauty is evident here.

3) Surrogate Drones is a short drone piece.

4) YRP is a new version of the old Swans tune called "Your Property". Originally, this was typical Swans loudness and brutality when it was originally released. Now, it is given a stark, sad sounding feeling with a drone going on behind the vocalization this time by Jarboe. This is a live performance in Astoria London. It's very nice to hear her take on the old Swans tune done before her time with the band. It's like, the flip side, or the story from the other person's point of view. At times her voice is almost mid-eastern sounding as she laments with the music. The ending starts to pound along with the drone and crashing cymbals before it stops and shimmers along for a while. Very nice track.

5) This one is called "You Know Everything" and is a very altered version of "You Know Nothing" from the White Light album. The vocals are done as spoken word by a taped child's recording. Suddenly half way through the softness of the track is crushed by a very loud passage with a full band at full volume, but the softness returns and finishes the track. Very nice except for the part as it approaches the middle when the child's voice becomes repetitive.

6) An acoustic rendition of the track "M/F" done by Jarboe at the radio station VPRO on December 14,1994. Her vocals are very harsh against the simple guitar accompaniment as she tries to push the harshness of the original.

7) "Soundsection" is another live track from London. Gira has vocal duty on this one. It has a typical post rock sound following the same format as many "Godspeed You! Black Emperor" songs with a variating drone, mid-tempo percussive sounds with a slow crescendo, except it has Gira's trademark vocalization, deep and harsh. It could easily be mistaken for a live GY!BE track if it weren't for the vocals.

So, this is a good album for those who love the harshness and imperfections of the first albums but don't mind a lot of variety added in. Sure, it is not cohesive because of the variety of tracks and sources, but that works to it's advantage. For brand new Swans listeners, this is a great introduction to their music, especially the music that was being made during the middle of their career and as the first incarnation of the band was splitting up to work on other projects. But you also get a taste of some of their earlier works in the loud passages, it's just not as repetitive. Again, this is an E.P. but it packs the punch of a full album and lasts just as long. Not their best, but it is one of their better ones because of the variety here. 4 stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password
Thanks to angelmk for the artist addition.

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — the ultimate jazz music virtual community | MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music virtual community


Server processing time: 0.81 seconds