Music » Spun

Record Review: Swans — To Be Kind

Two-disc record from revived project is more subtle, but still terrifying.

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Swans
To Be Kind
Young God 

The third studio album from Michael Gira’s Swans since he reanimated the project in 2012 after a 14-year hiatus, To Be Kind is a two-hour double CD that simply never lets up. Perhaps this iteration of Swans isn’t the grinding, super-dark noise band that emerged from New York’s not-inconsiderable underbelly 30 years ago — subtlety certainly plays its part nowadays. But that doesn’t make this record any less terrifying. Chanting vocals and overpowering drum, guitar, and electronic noises envelop the listener in a wave of tribal-industrial art rock and, by the time you start disc two, you’ll feel emotionally drained. You’ve been warned. 

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