Monday, 25 October 2010

Swans - My Father....

Artist Swans
Year 2010
Label Young God Records
Genre(s) Post-Rock

This album was always going to be polarising. The very announcement of a reformation without Jarboe started some sort of proto-backlash towards the venture. Nine months on from the first announcement and finally My Father Will Guide me Up a Rope to the Sky is pushed out for the baying audience. Swans are back, but is the album any good?

Maybe saying Swans are back is slightly bold… If I picked up a goose and proclaimed it a swans perhaps it could fool people upon a cursory glance, but closer inspection will reveal that it may look the same, possibly smell the same and even have a similar make up, but it ain’t no Swan. I have no problem with Angels of Light, in fact if pressed as I’ve grown older I might say some of the Angels of Light work resonates more with me. My Father Will Guide Me up a Rope to the Sky suffers the same problem that I had with certain earlier Angels…. Works, after hearing Gira’s touching and powerful acoustic demos the songs don’t feel right being worked into full band mode. The best example I can muse on would be My Sister Said (From: I am Singing to you From my Room & Sing Other People respectively) which lost the majority of its power when rerecorded with a full band.

Far be it from me to tell Gira how to manage his projects but I can’t help feel that as he has grown older that his music has evolved past a very over the top expression of emotion into a more mature and formed emotive output, Swans still holds a place in my heart but the time has passed. Why resurrect a band to play essentially the same music you’re already doing in another project? Maybe I’m just cynical…

My Father… isn’t a bad album, not by a long shot. I do feel it pales in comparison to the more effecting solo demos on I Am Not Insane and I don’t know how well it fits in the Swans canon. Maybe I’m just subconsciously rebelling against growing old. Was it David Fincher that said “Nihilism is a really sexy idea when you’re in your twenties…”? Maybe I’m just not as extreme as I used to be. It’s not really important, you’ll either have this album or you won’t, this review is worthless…. Good old nihilism.

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