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FILTER Grade: 84%

By Adam Pollock on June 26, 2014




Swans are not a mainstream band; their music has only been heard by a minute percentage of the population. This is a travesty, for Swans are mind-blowing, and should surely be experienced at least by the number of people who are subjected to Nicki Minaj on a daily basis. To the uninitiated, the (currently) six-piece experimental New York–based noise-rock band can perhaps be broadly described as “a moody-voiced guy ominously droning/yelling over the sound of extremely loud, ambitious performance art. With explosions.” But Swans are also oh so much more. On their new opus, the over-two-hour-long To Be Kind, Michael Gira and his very serious men, with occasional support from a number of brave women including St. Vincent, create some of the most sublimely ferocious music that has ever been recorded, or at least recorded this well (it sounds great). Well into their fourth decade, with the aughts years spent in hibernation, Swans are still making records of brilliance and majesty. 

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