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Main » 2006 » December » 9 » Swans - 1994 - The Great Annihilator
Swans - 1994 - The Great Annihilator

Swans - 1994 - The Great Annihilator

01. In
02. I Am The Sun
03. She Lives!
04. Celebrity Lifestyle
05. Mother Father
06. Blood Promise
07. Mind/Body/Light/Sound
08. My Buried Child
09. 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

After a three-year break occasioned in part by wrangles with the Sky label, Swans returned in 1995 with a vengeance, as always pursuing their unique muse of dramatic, ever-more textured music. Gira and Jarboe work with a fantastic core band this time out, including returning veteran Westberg, who trades off guitar duties with Steele, at points playing together with him, a magnificent combination. Other returning musicians include Kizys and Parsons, while newer players like drummer Bill Rieflin from the Chicago Wax Trax! circle join as well. As is par for the course by now, Swans seem incapable of producing a bad album, Annihilator being crammed full of astonishing songs to prove it. Everything's a little more stripped-down here, possibly due to having a central band, but it's still all very lushly arranged and created, perfectly balancing force and restraint. Leadoff single "Celebrity Lifestyle" is one of the catchiest things the band has ever done, but it's still uniquely Swans -- a minimal, throbbing song matched with a sharp lyric on starlust and what it might mean. "I Am the Sun" pounds as hard as any early Swans track, but the use of careful space between blasts, Gira's heavily echoed, out-of-nowhere vocal (accentuated by equally vivid background vocals from Jarboe), and tempo shifts clearly demonstrates the constantly evolving nature of Swans music; the band is never content to simply repeat the past. Jarboe's own standout tracks include "Mother/Father," a brawling number showcasing both her and the band at their full-on best, and "My Buried Child," with her softly husked take on a terrifying Gira lyric, which is carried by a roiling rhythm. This is followed immediately by the sweeping, cinematic "Warm," where she contributes wordless vocals. Once again, Swans have created an epic, incredible work of art.

~review from AllMusicGuide

One of the few remaining pieces of the digipacked and remastered re-issue puzzle, 1994's "The Great Annihilator" is reclaimed from Invisible Records for Michael Gira's own Young God Records. This was a transitive period for Gira and Jarboe's SWANS, a natural progression from the previous "bunny" artwork themed albums ("White Light From the Mouth of Infinity" and "Love Of Life") and a premonition of what was to come with the conclusive trilogy ("Die Tür Ist Zu", "Soundtracks For The Blind" and "SWANS Are DEAD"). Many of "TGA"'s songs delve into a darker and grittier sound but also maintain melody, mixed moods and brevity. "Celebrity Lifestyle" and "Mother/Father" flirt dangerously with mainstream rock & roll conventions while "Mind/Body/Light/Sound", "My Buried Child" and "Alcohol The Seed" throb with tantric mantras. Tenderness is a distinctive trait of "Blood Promise", "Warm", "Killing For Company" and "Mother's Milk", the last of which features an especially bittersweet vocal by Jarboe. Lyrical themes follow Gira's ever-present obsessions with the eternally entangled dualities of life and death, love and hate, mind and body, man and "God", etc. The title track embraces Stephen Hawking's theory of an omnivorous, universe destroying black hole - science's embodiment of God, perhaps. Near the end Gira invitingly sings "come on in and come inside" in harmony with the title and Jarboe's backing over a spiraling mass of percussion laden rock, perfectly evoking the very nature of said sucker. To my ears the remastering improves overall clarity but is far from drastic and the bonus track, a bootleg quality live rendition of "I Am The Sun", pales in comparison to the version on "SWANS Are DEAD". No matter. "The Great Annihilator" is what nearly all SWANS albums were and remain to be: powerful, evocative and, ultimately for me, indispensable ...

~review from

Category: Alternative/Punk | Views: 2452 | Added by: innocent76 | Rating: 0.0/0 |

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