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Swans - Holy Money CD (album) cover




Post Rock/Math rock

3.55 | 30 ratings

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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.

Dobermensch | 3/5 |


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