Monolithic troupe Swans returns to Montreal on the heels of their strongest album yet
Why dwell in the past when the present is far more relevant to those who witness it in the now? Welcome to the world of Swans, the shape-shifting combo led by the maniacally grounded singer, songwriter and guitarist Michael Gira, the one constant over the band’s lengthy history that dates back to the early 80’s grimy and vibrant New York City music scene.
Swans lived the highs and lows of rock, starting with less than nothing culminating/crashing with a major label deal that sealed their fate, all the while creating sounds that swelled with the chaotic world times: loud and brash at the start, followed by quiet, calm and cerebral at midpoint, eventually coming full circle back to the beautiful noise by their end.
The mid-1990’s was when the first incarnation of Swans laid down its weary head to rest, resuscitated fifteen years later out of a deep freeze following Gira’s forays into solo and band – The Body Lovers and Angels of Light – territory. As Gira himself states, Swans’ new record, the hauntingly powerful The Seer, was thirty years in the making and encompasses all the musical avenues he has explored then, now and into the future.
The title tracks sums up neatly and nicely where the band is sound-wise circa now: a tauntingly slow and powerful crescendo of guitar and percussion that breaks at thirty minutes high, only to come back to earth, teasing and taunting a lullaby, only to pump up the jam to a hammering end. This is the end my friend.