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Swans - Cop CD (album) cover

COP

Swans

 

Post Rock/Math rock

3.39 | 39 ratings

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Dobermensch
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 'Cop' sounds like black metal in slow motion. Like watching a train crash frame by frame on slow play DVD. It's Swans most extreme recording by a long way where Roli Mosimann's drums hammer over and over driving nails into your skull as both guitarists screech out the most unpleasant dirge you're likely to hear this side of Sirius. Everything bar the vocals sounds like it's being played at half speed. And the drums are loud. Really loud! Not only that but they constantly have a heavy decay and booming effect throughout.

Coupled with Gira's gut wrenching wails and visceal utterings, it's one of the most intense albums you're likely to find in the Prog Archives. The doubled vocal tracks certainly lifts this immeasurably and leaves it sounding greater than the sum of its parts.

This is Swans just before Jarboe (female singer) joined, where everything sounds soaked in male testosterone and sweat. A nasty, brutal and uncompromising album from beginning to end. Beware: if you're looking for something uplifting with musical finesse look far, far away from 'Cop'.

This is serial killer soundtrack material. A feeling of hopelessness and and anger is present from the outset - and it's pretty much relentless. You're unlikely to hear such self loathing on any recording from '84 to present day.

Quite honestly though, there's nothing that sounds like 'Cop' anywhere and that's why I have a fair amount affinity with it. The confrontational angst which runs throughout will be more than most sensible or normal folks can handle. Thankfully, I'm not normal nor sensible, therefore it hits all the happy buttons with me. A cathartic experience for anyone's mind that is full of dark ugly thoughts.

My personal favourite track is 'Clay Man' - replete with growling, shouted vocals amidst a one chord thumped bass note that is enough to make you think that Michael Gira has his hands in someone's entrails with a face covered in blood as he spits and wrenches out lyrics such as 'Your flesh is easy, your flesh is soft, the shame, the shame'. Sledgehammer drums with echoed high hats only add to the disturbing atmosphere. Scary biscuits indeed!

There's no light at the end of this long dark tunnel. Goodness knows who I can recommend this to. It's just too extreme and heavy for this website, but I'm glad it's here.

Dobermensch | 3/5 |

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