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'My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky,' Swans 

The new Swans album is not very loud, but certainly very strange.

click to enlarge Swans
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It’s definitely not the heavy revival that some Swans fans were wishing for. Though the newly revived project may have kept the volume down on this record, they thankfully didn’t keep the weird under control.

My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky, the first record in over a decade from Swans, is polished, driving, contemplative and bizarre. Michael Gira — now in his late 50s — schools the current incarnation of his band in what it means to drone. On “My Birth,” the band is perfectly repetitive, Gira preaching and yelling over the top of the noise. But the song lacks punch — that usual splash of cold water to the face you’d expect from Swans. The only track that has that rude awakening is the first one, “No Words/ No Thoughts.” It’s a nine-minute opus of thick drums and growling noise — one of those songs that proves Swans are still some of the best noisemakers around.

DOWNLOAD: “Eden Prison”

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