The ever-restless Michael Gira switched things up once again with the fourth Angels of Light record, replacing most of the now-familiar lineup with the members of another band, Akron/Family, whose debut album he had co-produced. He adopted a new constraint for the project, too: no drums. The results, set free from that percussive anchor, are more ragged and even more expansive, in their own way — not pushing against the sky, but running roughshod over cracked ground in thin rivulets of banjo and dulcimer and the kind of wild, erratic vocal harmonies you might hear in an old-time revival meeting. Even the lyrics are more worldly: “Michael’s White Hands” presents Michael Jackson as a vengeful god and a symbol of America’s undoing, while “Destroyer” channels Gira’s longstanding apocalyptic obsessions into a thinly veiled 9/11 frame. Brimming with choruses, yelps, and even, on “Purple Creek,” the sound of crickets, it’s a campfire album — but one for the days after the cities have burned down, when “We’ll walk freely through the mountains and the trees/ And we’ll breathe deep again where the air is pure and clean / And we will drink freely from the milk of our revenge.”
By Philip Sherburne on 11.28.12 in Icons
When Swans released their album The Seer in 2012, it was cause for celebration on several counts. For one thing, no one had ever expected them to return after they disbanded in 1997, so their comeback two years prior was...
By Wondering Sound Staff on 12.22.14 in Galleries
Wondering Sound's staff picks the year's best albums.
By Andrew Parks on 11.11.14 in News
Believe it or not, Swans just sparked the sixth leg of their worldwide To Be Kind tour, and they're showing no signs of slowing down in 2015. As reported in a press release earlier today, Michael Gira's merry madmen just...
By Andrew Parks on 09.17.14 in News
As TV on the Radio get set to release their first album in four years on November 18, co-founder/producer Dave Sitek has revealed his latest business venture. Much like his Federal Prism label, the ACME Creative Group is...