Swans – To Be Kind

 

swans to be kind album cover

 

There is always the possibility of someone that is reading this piece and doesn’t know Swans at all, or doesn’t know Swans very well so allow me to speak about them for a while. This band founded by Michael Gira, the undeniable leader, was founded in 1982 and they are one of the most brilliant, relevant and influential bands of these last thirty years. There’s no space for discussing. It is what it is. They returned back in 2010 after a huge hiatus of twelve years (from 1997 to 2009) with My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope to the Sky (Young God) in 2010. Many people were expecting something that is normal to happen when a legendary and cult band like Swans returns to business: a failed attempt to recapture the golden age. Those people were not paying attention because Michael Gira was never a man of walking on the nostalgic and old-time lane. Swans’ career was always a fight to push forward, never stay the same and considerable moments of non-conformity through an ongoing desire of not being comfortable. Always on the run, never stopping to nest. The Seer (Young God) , the second Swans’ album after their glorious return, was the undeniable slap in the face (I took it and I’m proud of it) with the bold move to create an epopee that scratched the two hours mark. You need to have some balls to deliver something with two hours in 2012 – I want to remember you that most bands have problems creating something half-good for forty minutes. They did it. They had success because it was an intense, interesting and compelling piece.

 

If you need to have balls to release a two-hour long record in 2012, imagine releasing another two long record in 2014. To Be Kind (Young God), the new Swans album, is another epopee and once again they have succeed on the mission of delivering something that is always hitting the nail in the head, cutting all the fat (they had music for more than two hours, believe it or not) and working their way through pure moments of ecstasy. They use repetition to progress. They use the dynamics just to hit harder. They use soft sounds just because you need to know that there’s always calm before the storm. They are fuckin’ genius. What more can I say? I don’t dare talking about tracks because this to me is just one track two hours long, one track that is exciting from the very first second to very last one. They have created another masterpiece. Michael Gira’s artistic endeavor is capable of reignite the flame of ours hearts and wash our souls. Don’t know if we deserve what Gira has delivered in all these years. I know that I just want to say after listening To Be Kind: thank you!

9/10

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TIAGO MOREIRA