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Swans Biography

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Crawling out of the same noisy, arty New York underground that sired Sonic Youth} and Lydia Lunch}, Swans} created a dark, abrasive, murky, slowed-down noise rock} that served as a starting point for their ruminations about alienation, depression, depravity, and the disturbing side of human nature. Singers Michael Gira} and Jarboe} have been the group's only constants over the years; Gira} has taken the group from its early confrontational shock tactics to a more varied, mature attack. The band first appeared on record in 1982 with a self-titled EP, and these early releases document their search for the musical vocabulary to express their ideas effectively. Female singer Jarboe} joined the group for 1986's Holy Money} and brought a gentler, more relaxed dimension to Swans}' sound. The band entered its creative peak with 1987's Children of God} and the follow-up, Feel Good Now}, and secured a deal with MCA} through a cover of Joy Division}'s "Love Will Tear Us Apart,"} which became an indie hit in the U.K. In between releases, Gira} and Jarboe} recorded with their side project, Skin}, an outlet for their quieter, more reflective side. Their first MCA} album, The Burning World}, came the closest to mainstream rock} of anything they had done up to that point, and 1991's White Light From the Mouth of Infinity} continued that trend. In 1995, Gira} published a book, The Consumer and Other Stories}, through Henry Rollins}' publishing house; the book's release coincided with that of the album The Great Annihilator}. ~ Steve Huey, All Music Guide

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