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Swans
To Be Kind


5.0
classic

Review

by someguest USER (24 Reviews)
September 30th, 2014 | 23 replies


Release Date: 2014 | Tracklist


As Halloween edges ever so closer to us, To Be Kind will reenter playlists. There's no question about it. The abstraction presented within this album is close to pure sonic horror. But don't believe horror was the sole intention with this record. Although there's no way to be exactly sure how Gira and company throw their compositions together, there are some general conclusions one can reach. The listener's best approach may be to look at it this way. Swans takes a short, punchy rock tune, throws the song into a blender until pureed, lets it sit and watches it separate for days to weeks, and spreads it out further than ever thought possible. It's here where the true realization of post-rock is achieved: not just with the crescendo of guitar passages, but with a complete breakdown of the rock aesthetic into something that sounds more haphazard than rehearsed.

This isn't to say that being unsystematic when recording is a flaw. It makes the album. In fact, it makes it catchy - something that it shouldn't be. But when you give the album time, you see how this could happen. The lyrics are rudimentary. When viewed from the surface they look immature, nearly asinine, as Gira sounds more like a child throwing a tantrum than an experienced musician. And there's the charm. You don't have to enter some deep thought process of trying to figure out exactly what Swans is trying to say. Instead, their compositions infiltrate your subconscious as they grasp onto the very feeling of what it means to be human. The bipolarity of all of us is explored by this album, making the listener perceive (for example, love and hate at the exact same time). This abstract approach makes an immediate and direct connection with their audience, which at times seems closer to hypnosis than lecture.

Niklas Kvarforth says on "I och med insikt skall du förgå", the opener to the album IV: The Eerie Cold by Shining, that "In reality, humanity is horror." The members of Swans would agree with him. The instrumentals presented here bend the mind into a pretzel as they pummel the listener like someone on the street in the fetal position being mugged by a coterie. They're not overly technical and they're surely not entirely original in form. However, they combine in such a way that builds, and builds, and still keeps building until the listener feels the horror the band seems to know all so well. And when you combine this with Gira's absolutely demented delivery, you find yourself and where you stand. Swans has created the best album of the year by showing all of us how wicked we truly are. If only we weren't so unaware of it.



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user ratings (1701)
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of


Comments:Add a Comment 
mryrtmrnfoxxxy
September 30th 2014


16657 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

This band has always sucked.

BMDrummer
September 30th 2014


15136 Comments


lol foxxy

deathschool
September 30th 2014


28684 Comments


What foxxxy said. Good review.

SharkTooth
September 30th 2014


14922 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Y'know? I really should get loudspeakers and play this album out loud to trick-or-treaters this Halloween!

someguest
September 30th 2014


30126 Comments


Thanks deathschool!

I think that'd be a fantastic idea, SharkTooth.

RustCohle
September 30th 2014


423 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

worst band ever and one of the most boring CDs ever...

Insurrection
September 30th 2014


24844 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

best username^

BMDrummer
September 30th 2014


15136 Comments


lol is that an amebix alt

someguest
September 30th 2014


30126 Comments


I'm glad there's still people out there who give Dream Theater albums 5s.

BMDrummer
September 30th 2014


15136 Comments


haha the worst one too

IHadSevenFaces
September 30th 2014


10 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Amazing review, pos.

RogueNine
September 30th 2014


5571 Comments


A wild someguest review appears! Nice.

Wadlez
September 30th 2014


5019 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Soundtracks for the Blind is their opus. Go Guest!

SharkTooth
September 30th 2014


14922 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"Soundtracks for the Blind is their opus."

I'd say that SFTB is one of many opuses

Arnaud
October 1st 2014


215 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

''It's here where the true realization of post-rock is achieved: not just with the crescendo of guitar passages, but with a complete breakdown of the rock aesthetic into something that sounds more haphazard than rehearsed.''



yes. yes.

someguest
October 1st 2014


30126 Comments


: )

ILJ
October 1st 2014


6942 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

"worst band ever and one of the most boring CDs ever..."



it's hard to take anybody seriously when they refer to an album as a CD

someguest
October 1st 2014


30126 Comments


Cool. How was the writing on this one, Fourth?

jtswope
October 1st 2014


5788 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"still need to check Soundtracks"



Do it now. It's life-changing.

Supercoolguy64
October 1st 2014


11801 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

agreed





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