Swans - Filth (1983)




More of a performance art piece than an actual musical record, Swans’ debut is an uncompromisingly ugly amalgam of industrial noise, headache-inducing double bass guitars and the hellish growl of frontman (and then-construction worker) Michael Gira. Their live shows were often performed in pitch darkness, with Gira performing either naked or mercifully wrapped in a towel. The doors were locked to prevent anyone from leaving. The NYC fringe punk scene in the ‘80s was such that you could get away with doing that sort of thing.

There are no hooks, choruses or anything even approaching suitability for radio airplay. The rhythms are slow, grinding and frustratingly repetitive. While completely ignored at the time of its release, it would become something of a cult favourite by the end of the ‘80s, with more commercially successful industrial groups like Einsturzende Neubaten and Godflesh adapting elements of their sound into their records.

A1 Stay Here A2 Big Strong Boss A3 Blackout A4 Power for Power B1 Freak B2 Right Wrong B3 Thank You B4 Weakling B5 Gang

Neutral, 1983


The Stooges - Raw Power (1973)

Raw Power