SWANS
Non-Metal / Metal Related • United States

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Swans are an experimental band from New York, New York, whose style has ranged from noise/crust to industrial to post-punk to art rock. They were part of the original "No-Wave" movement of the 80s.

Their earliest releases were very influential on sludge metal and crust punk, and are characterized by dirty, distorted walls of noise, with some considering the 1984 album Cop, the band's second full-length, to be a catalyst for the sludge metal genre to exist. For this reason, they have been included in the archives.
Thanks to triceratopsoil for the addition and adg211288 for the updates

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White Light From the Mouth of InfinityWhite Light From the Mouth of Infinity
Young God Records 2015
Audio CD$16.00
$14.69 (used)
To Be KindTo Be Kind
YOUNG GOD 2014
Vinyl$25.02
Children of God / World of SkinChildren of God / World of Skin
Remastered
YOUNG GOD 2003
Audio CD$14.27
$13.99 (used)
Soundtracks for the BlindSoundtracks for the Blind
Soundtrack
YOUNG GOD 2001
Audio CD$16.48
$31.50 (used)
The SeerThe Seer
YOUNG GOD 2012
Vinyl$28.99
$22.29 (used)
Cop / Young God / Greed / Holy MoneyCop / Young God / Greed / Holy Money
Import
Universal UK 2010
Audio CD$8.12
$11.99 (used)
Burning WorldBurning World
Import
1972 2014
Vinyl$22.68
$37.24 (used)
Swans Are DeadSwans Are Dead
Remastered
YOUNG GOD 2003
Audio CD$18.15
$29.95 (used)
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SWANS Discography

SWANS albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 4.28 | 8 ratings
Filth
Metal Related 1983
.. Album Cover 4.12 | 7 ratings
Cop
Metal Related 1984
.. Album Cover 3.91 | 3 ratings
Greed
Non-Metal 1986
.. Album Cover 3.91 | 3 ratings
Holy Money
Non-Metal 1986
.. Album Cover 3.98 | 4 ratings
Children of God
Non-Metal 1987
.. Album Cover 3.07 | 4 ratings
The Burning World
Non-Metal 1989
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 4 ratings
White Light From the Mouth of Infinity
Non-Metal 1991
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Body to Body, Job to Job
Non-Metal 1991
.. Album Cover 3.93 | 4 ratings
Love of Life
Non-Metal 1992
.. Album Cover 4.41 | 4 ratings
The Great Annihilator
Non-Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 4.44 | 5 ratings
Soundtracks for the Blind
Non-Metal 1996
.. Album Cover 3.98 | 3 ratings
My Father Will Guide Me up a Rope to the Sky
Non-Metal 2010
.. Album Cover 4.94 | 5 ratings
The Seer
Non-Metal 2012
.. Album Cover 4.45 | 6 ratings
To Be Kind
Non-Metal 2014

SWANS EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Swans
Metal Related 1982
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Young God
Metal Related 1984
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Die Tür ist zu
Non-Metal 1996

SWANS live albums

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Public Castration Is a Good Idea
Non-Metal 1986
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Feel Good Now
Non-Metal 1987
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Anonymous Bodies in an Empty Room
Non-Metal 1990
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Real Love
Non-Metal 1992
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Omniscience
Non-Metal 1992
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Kill the Child: 1985/1986/1987 Live
Non-Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Swans Are Dead
Non-Metal 1998

SWANS demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

SWANS boxset & compilations

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Various Failures 1988-1992
Non-Metal 1999
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Forever Burned
Non-Metal 2003

SWANS singles (10)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Time Is Money (Bastard)
Non-Metal 1986
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
A Screw
Non-Metal 1986
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
New Mind
Non-Metal 1987
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Love Will Tear Us Apart
Non-Metal 1988
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Can't Find My Way Home
Non-Metal 1989
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Saved
Non-Metal 1989
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Love of Life / Amnesia
Non-Metal 1992
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Celebrity Lifestyle
Non-Metal 1994
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Failure / Animus
Non-Metal 1996
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
I Am the Sun
Non-Metal 1997

SWANS movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

SWANS Reviews

SWANS Filth

Album · 1983 · Metal Related
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
The debut album by SWANS is a full-on no wave experience which was a splinter from the punk culture in New York City in the late 70s and early 80s. It was in contrast to the new wave movement that it was specifically in reaction against which threw out melody and added healthy doses of abrasive atonal sounds, hypnotic repetition of rhythms with the emphasis on musical texture.

I have also heard it referred to as a branch of noise rock and that does have validity to it since there seems to be regular rhythmic drumming that is the canvass for all kinds of chaotic sounds to flow around creating strange swells of sound. The fact is that despite being called no wave this reminds me of the waves in the ocean in a way where they come ashore in regular intervals but each one has its own chaos embedded in its regularities. Swirling in eddies and irregular patterns until they crash violently against the land.

SWANS takes the no wave approach into new arenas. They were one of the few no wave bands to actually stick around long enough to develop their own sound and this debut album has been described as “the ideal soundtrack for mass suicides or nuclear holocausts.” Hardcore it is with it's depression inducing stridency and total lack of anything remotely melodic with the distortion of heavy psych and the screamed vocals that remind me a bit of the sludge metal band Neurosis. Also in the mix are industrial type sounds that add yet another layer of bleakness and robotic detachment from finding that happy space. This is dark and sinister sounding. Despite having little melody the undulating sonic waves are strangely addicting making this unique experience a very interesting debut album.

SWANS To Be Kind

Album · 2014 · Non-Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
arcane-beautiful
Swans are a band that I've let fly past me these past few years. Now don't blame me personally, it's just I have a mixed opinion about Pitchfork relate artists or hipster worthy bands (sometimes they are a bit too much style and not enough music). So after all this time, I have decided to give this band a chance. And of course, I'm glad I have.

If I had to describe this band to anyone, the best way to sum them up would be if The Velvet Underground where to jam with Captain Beefheart and Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. The band also have a rather Pixies take to their music, with a big focus on the loud and quiet dynamic of their music. The band have a brilliant ability of being able to take minimalist riffs and ideas, yet building upon them into big climaxes or to something completely different entirely.

While the album is mainly music, one thing I really love about this album is that the lyrics are very simple and almost mono syllabic at times. While the songs titles and music already paint a picture in your head, the lyrics are almost their to portray instantaneous emotions rather than telling actual stories.

The opening track “Screen Shot” is a brilliant example of what the band can do. With a soft start and a climactic build up, the soft to hard style of the bands classic stuff is shown. Brilliant start to the album.

“A Little God In My Hands” is another personal favorite of mine. The best way to describe this song is if the Pixies where to jam with Captain Beefheart and Current 93. A brilliant track with some absolutely brilliant vocals from Michael, showing off some insane vocals.

The album's longest track and the bands longest song to date, “Bring The Sun/Touissant L'Ouverture” is a massive piece of music. A multi layered and multi parted track, the song goes through a lot of different feelings and emotions. Starting off with a post metal opening and going into a psychedelic jam, it then explodes into a noisy chasm and then moves into a slow jam with Michael shouting and raving in both French and Spanish. Now, being over a half an hour long, I do believe that this song is pushing it a little bit, but I still think the experience of this track is a rollercoaster that is an interesting experience nontheless.

The album's second longest track “She Loves Us” is another interesting moment on the album. The song being rather slow in nature at first, it then explodes into a sonic wall with Michael screaming over the music with overly sexual suggested lyrics. Mad as a hatter, but it perfectly fits with the chaotic nature of the album.

One of my personal favorite tracks on the album has to be “Kirsten Supine.” Taking influence from Lars Von Trier's film “Melancholia”, the song shows of some rather delicate yet explosive sounds, very much like the film it was inspired by.

My favorite track on the album has to be “Oxygen.” With a mad mash of different rhythms throughout and some incredibly insane vocals from Michael. For some reason I am getting a Smashing Pumpkins vibe from this track, especially with the breakdowns with only vocals and drums.

The title track which ends off the album is an interesting anti folk influenced sonic build up. Some lovely instrumental work on this track showing off some of Swans instrumental technique, before becoming more dark and twisted near the end of the track.

In conclusion, this album shows off the bands styles and sounds in ways which have bettered their previous releases. While some songs may be a bit too lengthy and outstay their welcome a tad too much,, you can't deny that journey that some of these tracks take you on. A good example of a long double album not being exceedingly boring. These guys will always excite.

8.3/10

Genres: Experimental Rock, Noise Rock, Avant Garde Rock, RIO, Post Metal, Avant Garde Metal, Post Rock, Anti Folk, Art Rock, Progressive Rock

Country of origin: USA

Year of release: 2014

SWANS Young God

EP · 1984 · Metal Related
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
There's a flicker of tension and pensiveness about the slow doomy dirges on Swans' Young God. Whereas Cop came across as outraged, furious, but ultimately dead and rotting, somewhere deep within Young God something sinister is gradually coming to life. Complementing its parent album nicely - the two releases are usually conjoined on CD reissues - Young God is another important signpost in the early evolution of Swans and sounds even less like traditional doom metal than Cop. Fans of Burning Witch in particular might find this work an intriguing precedent for Witch's own particular brand of "how sickly can I make this riff sound?" doom.

SWANS Cop

Album · 1984 · Metal Related
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
Swans take doom metal riffs, post-punk production and disturbing lyrics and sort of mash them up into an unbelievably ugly gumbo on Cop, their second album. Howling about police brutality, heartache, jobs and violence, frontman Michael Gira is backed by riffs that sound like the world's roof falling in. Pegged by some as noise rock (and good golly is it noisy), I personally see it as a precedent for Black Flag's latter-day experiments in slowing their riffs down and getting weird (see, for instance, The Process of Weeding Out). Just about saved from doom metal territory by virtue of a complete lack of 1970s nostalgia or stoner pipe dreams, Cop is a cold, hard look at an ugly reality.

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Sheavy wrote:
1578 days ago
Bah, this is discography is a cake walk compared to how long it will take for me to get all of Agathocles discog put up. http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Agathocles/2649
Gi wrote:
1581 days ago
v That's the worst part.
1811 days ago
And I can't even rate all the albums 5* :C
1811 days ago
Impressive :-)
1811 days ago
What a chore this was

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