Album Review: Swans – My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky

It's been a 14 year wait, but Swans unleash a chaotic melee of noise as beautiful as it is ferocious

‘No Words/No Thoughts’, the opening track of [a]Swans[/a]’ first LP in 14 years, is
a charge into the valley of death; drums are a fusillade from either side, bells crash like broken spurs, oppressive roars of guitars are like rainclouds bursting overhead, mixing blood with mud. It, like the rest of this astonishing, febrile album, is confrontational and intense. Although Michael Gira’s outfit might best be known for industrial clamour, ‘My Father…’ is spun from sinews of rich multi-instrumentalism. A hard flogging from heavily bowed violin is served in ‘My Birth’, ‘You Fucking People Make Me Sick’ opens with Gira’s own daughter in a duet with [a]Devendra Banhart[/a], before a twisted breakdown into exploding aero engines and unhappy brass. ‘Eden Prison’ and ‘Jim’ are the Bad Seeds at the moment of finally losing their game of cards to the devil. Yet [a]Swans[/a]’ bleakness is beset with great beauty, black wings to another world.

Luke Turner

Click here to get your copy of Swans’
‘My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky’ from Rough Trade Shops.