The first Swans album I ever listened to was their 1987 release Children of God. Instantly I felt as if I were swaddled by layers upon layers of bad feelings. Combining elements of brutality with bandleader Michael Gira’s snarl and former member Jarboe’s eerily sweet and baroque-like stylings, the album proved to be an emotional roller coaster (for me at least). But I liked it. Embracing those bad feelings, I felt my spirit lift upon finishing the album.
Like many of Swans’ industrial-influenced releases within the past thirty years, the band’s punishing sound has ultimately proved cathartic for some. But enough about me and my connection to the band.
Next month Swans will be playing two shows at the Independent promoting their newest album To Be Kind. This album is their third studio album since returning from a hiatus in 2010. It features members within the likes of Michael Gira, Norman Westberg, Christoph Hahn, Phil Puleo, Christ Pravdica and Thor Harris, who also happen to be touring members.
That said, embrace the brutality and try not to stagedive or start a pit (I heard Michael Gira really doesn’t like that).