When Michael Gira’s assaultive group Swans formed during New York City’s early ‘80s no wave movement, the noise-rockers became reputed for punishing volume, blitzed guitars, distorted electronics and Gira’s shouted lyrics about violence, extreme sex, power and human degeneracy. Flash forward three decades to Swans’ revamped lineup, and they still remain committed to sonic events of aggressive intent and auditory physicality.
The two-CD concert document, We Rose from Your Bed with the Sun in Our Head, should be played at excessive volume, not for migraine-inducing din but for total immersion. The opening 23-minute barrage, “Intro/No Words No Thoughts,” is a brutal compendium of squealing, howling guitars and battering drums; a similar structure intensifies the 30-minute “The Seer (Intro)/I Crawled,” which flows with subdued feedback, dulcimer and melodica, and whips into a furious uproar before it ebbs back. That track and other new pieces, such as “The Apostate” and “93 Ave. B Blues,” are uncompromising, ominous indications of what will fill forthcoming studio release, The Seer.
We Rose from Your Bed with the Sun in Our Head is available now.