Swans
Love Will Tear Us Apart


2.5
average

Review

by Arnaud USER (5 Reviews)
August 27th, 2014 | 7 replies


Release Date: 1988 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A rather bland and unrefined effort showcasing a band in a sound transition

Being a Swans fan in the late 80’s and assisting the release of the Love Will Tear Us Apart EP must have been quiet… unsettling, to say the least, as the band, previously known for their extremely abrasive industrial sound (Filth, Cop) and mind-crushing (more often than not, literally) live performances, gives hint of more sober, acoustically oriented period to come, which would later be concretized with the release of The Burning World in ’89.

On this EP, not only has the band stripped out their heaviness, but it seems, ironically, that ‘’emotion won’t grow,’’ to borrow Ian Curtis' own words. Attempting to cover Joy Division’s famous song isn’t a thing of rare occurrence; rightfully doing so might be, after all, seeing as Swans frontman Michael Gira delivers, alongside co-singer Jarboe, a rather uninteresting version of the song with what only appears to be an uninterested attitude, trying to make his a song that could very well never be successfully covered. That is not to say Gira isn’t an incredible songwriter / singer himself; but perhaps his own view on love, or at least the one we’ve been used to with Swans, might be too far away from the one he’s trying to convey through Love Will Tear Us Apart, resulting in a sense of inauthenticity.

‘’They suffer for love
And they're sick to death
Of the dreams they used to have
And they're sick to death
Of their beautiful lie’’
– Our Love Lies

The two other tracks appearing on the Red Version of the EP suffer from the same treatment: Trust Me and Our Love Lies, originally found on Children Of God, seem to have, on the Love Will Tear Us Apart EP, lost their brilliancy and their sense of experimentation. The dark and dense catacombs-like atmosphere heard on Children Of God now completely gone, both songs appear incredibly boring. Perhaps the overall feeling given by the EP is that the musicianship never really succeeds to form a whole with the delivered lyrics, leaving the listener with the impression of a record disconnected from emotion.

In the end, the EP falls short not only in comparison to Joy Division’s version of the title track, but also as to what massive benefits were to come from this brief sound transition and would later on take place on White Light From The Mouth Of Infinity, released in ‘91, where the band finally seems to reconcile once and for all acoustic with heaviness, emotion with meaning, and, ultimately, passion with love.


user ratings (47)
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
DrJohn
August 27th 2014


1041 Comments


Nice.

BMDrummer
August 27th 2014


14647 Comments


haven't heard this, good review tho

Supercoolguy64
August 27th 2014


9229 Comments


Nice, never cared about listening to this tho

StallionMang
August 27th 2014


9003 Comments


Sweet review pos'd, love Swans but don't care much for this cover

Arnaud
August 27th 2014


214 Comments


Thanks!

Green Baron
August 28th 2014


24899 Comments


Never heard this one, maybe I should check it out for shits and giggles

Arnaud
August 28th 2014


214 Comments


Gira's hair in the video clearly stands as the highlight of the song



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