3 Oct 2010, 17:36
Sat 2 Oct – Swans, Baby Dee
We've all been to loud shows. The kind of shows where your ears are hurting afterwards. But there is only band who truly knows how to use loud sounds to create movements and feelings- to effect more than your ears. In fact, although there was no arguing that this was the loudest show everyone in the room had ever attended, my ears were fine not that long after I left Lee's Palace last night. Gira himself doesn't prefer for SWANS to be referred to solely as an incredibly loud band. The truth is, with this incarnation of the band they are truly able to sculpt sound into truly unique and different feelings and experiences with the use high volumes not just for piercing your ears and being punishing, but rather to create a truly dizzying event.
Entering the stage to a long drone was Thor who came out and played the tubular bells at a quick alternating rhythm for what seemed like 10 minutes- to me it started to sound like it belonged on a Steve Reich recording. The rest of the band entered the stage and rose the droning feel to the crest of a wave and then came down with thunder to show people what you could accomplish with 'loud' music by playing the opening track of their new album 'My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky
'. The set was split evenly between material from that album and new versions of songs from both 'Filth
' and 'Children of God
'. All of the material was played differently from the recordings people may have been familiar with. The older songs were refined with this new lineup into a more full sound, with Gira's vocals still sounding like the harrowing, militaristic simplicity the old lyrics provided. The songs from the latest album were extended into longer versions played with a fury that differs from the studio versions. All of the songs when looked at on paper and listened to in the studio versions probably wouldn't make sense to be played in the same set, but combined with the experience of the power coming off of the stage, it all made perfect sense. Proof that whatever Gira decides to do with the band- SWANS will always be SWANS; there is only one.
No Words/No Thoughts
Sex, God, Sex