April 14, 2016

Swans - Public Castration Is A Good Idea (1986)


The album is pretty damn heavy, heavier than most metal and heavier than probably any other Swans recordings. Gira's vocals are also probably the most tortured I've heard from him. Yeah, he might snarl and growl a little more on the early studio albums, but the muddy recording and droning instrumentals make him appear more intense than ever here. He matches the slow arrangements with nothing more than dragged out screams of single words and manic chants. The music is pretty industrial-sounding; the toms clank on and on, and I'm pretty sure the bass doesn't stop ringing once throughout the album since it's hit so hard. The guitar tuning and chord work is pretty typical Swans, similar to what you'd hear on Filth or Holy Money, but once again it's so much slower and droning than all of that, which is pretty noisy to begin with. Simply some of the most excruciating and brutal music of all time, I wouldn't be surprised if most people give up before the halfway mark. I really have to be in the mood to fade out to this murky torture chamber of a live session even though I consider it one of my favorites from Swans.

Sample

Public Castration Is A Good Idea