June CD Of The Month
Swans: To Be Kind
-Young God Records-
For the past 30 years, Michael Gira has been at the forefront of the American avant-garde with his experimental outfit Swans. The group saw a significant boost in popularity in 2012 with their acclaimed, gothic opus “The Seer,” and on their latest release “To Be Kind“, Gira has managed to top himself yet again with an aggressive yet beautiful song-cycle straight from hell.
“To Be Kind” maintains Swans’ typical love for confrontational music, but manages to take their sound in a new, groovier direction. Blending elements of soundscaping ambience with heavy, grandiose kraut rock, “To Be Kind” actually achieves a certain amount of accessibility for the usually abrasive group. Stretching past the 2-hour mark and loaded with tracks that both horrify and amaze in their magnitude, “To Be Kind” is a fantastic late-career release for Swans that demonstrates the group’s penchant for tension and release.