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The first Swans album in nearly 15 years, My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky encompasses all the original band’s many moods. Known for crushing noise-rock explosions, by the time of its first demise the band has thoroughly absorbed the intimacies of moody pop and pastoral folk rock as well, giving it an atmospheric and dynamic sound that would prove influential on the indie rock hordes that followed. For Swans’ self-willed revival, band mastermind Michael Gira (joined by both Swans veterans and members of his subsequent band Angels of Light) weaves the disparate strands of pounding rock, Middle Eastern tonalities, psychedelic folk and symphonic skronk around meditations on obsession and compulsion in striking songs like “Inside Madeline,” “Reeling the Liars In” and “Eden Prison.” More than merely a comeback, My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky is Swans’ next major statement.
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