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Swans - The Great Annihilator

  by James Alexander

published: 12 / 2 / 2002

Swans - The Great Annihilator
Label: Young God Records
Format: CD


Reissued release of undefinable and vastly underrated "classic" latter period Swans record from 1995.

Swans never got the acclaim they deserved despite releasing plenty of great albums like this one. This record is simply amazing and is very hard to categorize. Sure, it sounds like Swans, but then that encompasses a lot of styles. The pummelling repetition of their earlier releases gives way to more gentle forms of persuasion. 'Telepathy', 'Killing For Company' and the title track form a closing trio that whilst dark and powerful never fall into any Gothic or Industrial cliches. These are genuine "songs" in the tradition of Leonard Cohen or Lou Reed but which are somehow perceived to be on a par with vastly inferior "acts" such as NIN etc...oh well. The title track is a clever rewiring of The Beatles 'Tomorrow Never Knows'and it is the closest I've heard anyone (regardless of genre) get to the essence of what that track is about: effortless expression. There is still the occasional brutal moment , Alcohol the Seed is vaguely reminiscent of earlier work, but this is mainly due to it's lyrical style ( "I need alcohol because it opens my blood/I need alcohol because it empties my head/I need alcohol/I need alcohol").This is no bad thing. It simply underlines the diversity, the dynamic range of this incredible band. There is plenty more tracks worth highlighting ('Blood Promise', and 'Killing for Company' come to mind)but it's 70+ minutes should be discovered on their own terms with no preconceptions attached. In short, if you don't know this album. you should buy it immediately. A genuine classic.

Track Listing:-
1 In
2 I Am the Sun
3 She Lives!
4 Celebrity Lifestyle
5 Mother/Father
6 Blood Promise
7 Mind/Body/Light/Sound
8 My Buried Child
9 Warm
10 Alcohol the Seed
11 Killing For Company
12 Mother's Milk
13 Where Does a Body End?
14 Telepathy
15 The Great Annihilator
16 Out

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