Earlier this year, when Michael Gira announced plans to reform Swans after a 12-year hiatus, eyebrows were raised out of equal parts excitement and confusion. Gira is a well known contrition, and an unsentimental one at that. This is, after all, the same Michael Gira who changed the direction of Swans because he was tired of being associated with New York’s no wave scene and for his band’s aggressively loud performances.
Creative restlessness became a theme for Gira, and by the end of the band in 1997, Swans had thoroughly demolished industrial music, post-rock, and noise. But, regardless of genre, the band’s music has always been tied to a single thematic element: Swans are epically dramatic. And it’s this sonic whirlwind, says Gira, which compelled him to reform Swans after spending the last decade releasing weird folk albums as Angels of Light.
But Swans 2010 is not a nostalgia act. The band is fully active, having just released one of my favorite albums of the year, My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky, and are touring with a brutal live show that never once feels like it’s looking back towards some agreed upon heyday.
Proceeded by about 20 minutes of static noise, the band’s set drew heavily from the new album, and began as a lone band member played an extended tubular bell intro to My Father Will Guide opener “No Words, No Thoughts” as Gira and the rest of his accompanists took their places around a massive drum kit. This drum kit was the shows gravitational center, launching punches that I could feel all the way on the balcony. They were absolutely massive on Children of God’s “Beautiful Child.”
At no point did the show feel like a reunion. Swans were too good, too vital, and definitely too loud. Gira seemed at ease as a rock frontman once again, dramatically grandstanding and prone to frequent howling outbursts. One can only hope he’s not already tired of playing this role.
Fuente: LimeWire Music Blog