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My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to The Sky

Swans
YOUNG GOD

To quote Michael Gira, “Swans are majestic, beautiful looking creatures. With really ugly temperaments.” After listening to My Father … from the reactivated onetime No Wavers, we can conclude the following: no shit.

Withstanding the nine-minute, anti-song horror show, “No Words/No Thoughts” deserves an award, and that’s fitting here at Michael Gira’s reunion-that-is-not-a-reunion. The producer and founder of this experimental group relishes the task of making you completely uncomfortable. Oh, don’t let that acoustic gospel tangent fool you. He’s still lethal: “We are removing their face/collecting their skin/we are reeling the liars in.” From there, it’s hard to imagine a bleaker picture than the one Gira paints, from the swampy dirge on “Jim,” to the suffocating post-natal recall of “Birth,” and “You Fucking People Make Me Sick,” which has, by far, the creepiest child-chorus ever. Pass the happy pills.