Swans – To Be Kind Swans – To Be Kind

Swans - To Be Kind (2014)

Swans – To Be Kind (2014)

Though I understand and appreciate the value of meditation, I rarely (mostly never) ever practice it, myself. I say that I don’t have the time but even the dogs know that’s a lie. If I can find the space in my day for pornography, cigarettes and television then I should be able to afford a few minutes now and then to explore the quiet which lights the thorny path from the self I display to an essence, sure and unobserved.

But the truth is, I’m afraid.

I’m afraid I’m not me and never should have been. That the person I know and express as myself everyday is just a long con, an escape plan, a blind man groping his chains in the gallows waiting for death and that if I practice meditation effectively what I find at my center will be the ghost of a little boy lost to wolves and shrieking so hard and so loud all the work I’ve done building up a personhood will be shattered to sand and disappear on the wind.

And then what the fuck of me?

I’m not ready to answer that question just yet. Not ready to surrender this lifelong investment for the sake of my obscured truth. Besides, who’s to say that what’s hiding inside the noise of my sinew is anything different than the man who meets you? It’s possible, isn’t it? Likely, even.



Listen, I understand that my reasoning against the search for a personal and sacred peace is absurd and well worth a certain shocked ridicule. I know it’s bull-headed and decidedly white, heterosexual American male and that’s shameful because it bucks against so many intangible wonders I know and play as tethers between the sublimity of the human animal and the infallible maw of the endless, unknowable universe.

So much so, that I’m beginning to wonder if even I can believe it. Perhaps I’m just looking for a reason to deflect change, to keep running the same racket that’s served me okay to date because, at least, there’s some safety in that and I am closing in on the age where safety is critical, where the future ought to be fucking well laid otherwise I’ll just be….what, exactly?

I don’t know, man.

All I know is I’ve been listening to (the) Swans for three days straight, now and the monolith has bested my brain. Left me babbling and hungry. Furious at the passage of time yet wildly appreciative of the minutes that coincide. Angry, frightened and crying. Drunk and naked. Fervently unsure.

It happens every time I binge on the band though much more so now that they’ve reshaped their purpose to explore the relentlessness of the subterranean epic, escaped. The saga of the unterkind loosed from the shackles of metropolis to tremble and roar in woods, by the eternal spring, forgiving all those drowned in the deep end of fury and – more importantly – those precious few who made it ashore.

To Be Kind is a grand celebration of the latter, parsing patience under the furious sun, alternating currents of Spaghetti Western raga subterfuge and the scraping frustration of red age howl assurance. It is a beautiful album, playing bright (ish) counterpoint to the devastated/ing apex that was The Seer.

A band graced into the fearless now.

To Be Kind Tracklist:

01 – Screen Shot
02 – Just a Little Boy (for Chester Burnett)
03 – A Little God in My Hands
04 – Bring The Sun Toussaint L’Ouverture
05 – Some Things We Do
06 – She Loves Us
07 – Kirsten Supine
08 – Oxygen
09 – Nathalie Neal
10 – To Be Kind

Swans - To Be Kind, reviewed by Charles on 2014-05-20T03:21:33-07:00 rating 4.0 out of 5

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