The seemingly immortal Michael Gira and his post-punk experimentalist world-destroyers Swans have already done the seemingly impossible in releasing their second post-reunion 2 hour-long opus in the phenomenal To Be Kind (listen to single ‘Oxygen’ if you have no idea what we’re talking about). But lest you forget for one second just how impressive all of this is, Swans want to also remind you that they’ve been doing this blowing minds thing for 30 goddamn years and you should probably just shut your fucking mouth, okay?
Via the band’s Facebook page they have announced that Gira’s label Young God Records will be re-issuing a re-mastered vinyl of their seminal 1983 debut Filth. The vinyl package will also include a 2-sided poster featuring the album artwork and some other stuff. Gira had this to say about the LP.
This is all slabs of sound, rhythm and screaming/testifying. What more do you need? In a way, it was a reaction against Punk (and just about any other music you can think of), and the conservative notion that 3 chords were somehow necessary. I used to deny it vehemently at the time, but No Wave (I “hated” that scene too, for some reason I can’t remember now) played a big role as the germ from which this music grew, along with The Stooges and Throbbing Gristle, of course. I wanted Swans to be “heavier” though – I wanted the music to obliterate – why, I don’t remember! I think it just felt good. Live, we used two basses (playing utterly unmusical chords that were stabbed and left to sustain or sometimes hit in staccato or opposing rhythms), drums, a “percussionist” that slammed down on a metal table with a metal strap, crude cassette loops of various sounds/noises (usually some kind of undefined ROAR), and Norman Westberg’s glorious sustained and screaming guitar chords. It was pretty elating to play live – for us. If 100 people showed up (which would have been a huge audience at the time – 20 was more the average), 80 were guaranteed to leave by the second song. Somehow that tension – contempt or indifference from the audience – was nourishing, so we kept going.
Sure, this is punk and definitively not “metal,” but there are so many lines to be drawn from that to what’s being done throughout the metal scene in recent history and today that it’s worthy of recognition. Also, shut the hell up figurative strawman I’ve created for the purpose of being combative! Music’s music!
The LP will be available October 28th, but you can pre-order it now through Young God’s site. And To Be Kind is available now, and if you haven’t already listened to it, then, man, I don’t even know what to say to you.