Swans – To Be Kind // Album Review

tobekindMute – out now

Since reforming in 2010, Michael Gira and his noisecrank crew have been busy. But unfortunately there is little truly new here to trouble listeners – except twelve-minute track ‘Just a Little Boy (for Chester Burnett)’. Its twisting dirge conjures up the dark menace of the blues legend better known as Howlin’ Wolf. As the tempo slows to a predatory slink it puts the creepy, processed singing of a frazzled Gira front and centre as he howls: “And I sleep in the belly of rhythm / And I sleep in the belly of love”. Eventually the tension is too much for the plaintive slide guitars to bear and it erupts in a particularly disturbing and, unusually for Swans, quiet way.

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BUY: Swans – To Be Kind

LIVE: Electric Brixton – May 27th