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Swans: Show Preview 

Tuesday, Sep 2 2014

Few musical forces can be as genuinely terrifying as Michael Gira, the visionary of Swans. On "Just a Little Boy (For Chester Burnett)" — a loping, drunken-sounding noise rock blizzard off To Be Kind, his band's 13th record — he repeatedly howls "I'm just a little boy," "I'm not human," and "I need love" as distortion hisses and the cruel, canned laughter of an uncredited studio audience reverberates. This kind of songwriting is par for the course for the ambitious experimental outfit, as Swans have spent years pairing profoundly aggressive, droning sounds with ruminations on death, failure, desperation, slavery, Armageddon, and other joyless subjects. Established in 1982 as part of New York City's no wave scene, dissolved in 1997, and revived in 2010, Swans had an interest in loud, harsh music that was once great enough to spark (dubious) rumors of people vomiting at their shows and (less dubious) rumors of people being turned off by them enough to exit concerts in droves. If you want to hear what the most disturbed nightmares in hell sound like, here's your chance. Prepare to suffer.

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Reyan Ali

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