catmoon wrote:okay I googled up a half dozen tracks from the Swans "masterpiece" Soundtracks for the blind, and all I got was boring compositions of kindergartenish simplicity, one might even say stupidity. I am literally sitting here wondering how people can listen to this crap. But hey, there are actually people out there who like rap, so I guess if this floats your boat, fine. I can't say how thankful I am that it doesn't float mine.
Yep, it makes sense to judge a band known for long, sprawling albums spanning a couple decades by a single album you kind of listened to in bits and pieces.
It also is worth noting that your comparison to Moody Blues is a good indication not a single drop of this kind of music is something that will appeal to you. If that's the closest you can come up with, I'd say you're a good 20 years older than me and probably would hate most of the bands my generation grew up on. Black Flag? Sonic Youth? Butthole Surfers? You won't find a single Eric Clapton in the bunch; it wasn't our style.
I haven't really listened to Swans in 10 years, primarily because I sort of became resentful of them for making such luxuriously depressing music. For anyone who actually gives the band an honest shot (imo, you haven't), its a classic conundrum typical of all popular music: lure the audience in and feed their head full of crap. But, as a musician and still somewhat a fan of music (though not very passionate about it anymore), I feel obligated to correct a snap judgement like yours. Like Swans, I'm an album guy, not a "pack it all into one hit single" guy. And also like Swans, I like the music to fit whatever the mood/message of the song is. Virtuosity is fine, but not for its own sake and I couldn't really care less about instrumental proficiency or vocal range if the result is well-crafted, creative and original. Also, you'd be hard-pressed to find anything like Knights In White Satin by Swans.
Swans can be described as post-punk, industrial, psychedelic, folk, cinematic and heavily orchestrated, experimental, lush, minimalist, extremely depressive and nearly equally ecstatic. But, you're not going to get it all from one album. Or little snippets of one album.
"Use what seems like poison as medicine. We can use our personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings." Pema Chodron