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Mark Champion <MCHAMPION@utsa.edu> (06.04.2004)
You know, I always sort of considered Swans to be a comedy group, especially in their pre-Jarboe days. Although they didn't actually turn hilarious until the Raping A Slave EP was released, you have to admit that even as early as this they were pretty damn funny. And for sheer aural delight, check out the song 'Cop'. . . .awesome.
J. H. M. <firstname.lastname@example.org> (12.01.2006)
I'm not all too fond of this release, although there are some good beats here ("Gang", although not too deep lyric-wise, has an excellent line of percussion). The live-only, "Strip/Burn" is probably the best moment here. Gira's vocals are far more punk- influenced here. Frankly, although Cop/Young God isn't any different (maybe more poetic, cryptic?) in regards to lyrics, the vocals are much easier to listen to without getting annoyed (see the tracks "Job" and "Whore", a.k.a. "Butcher", on Body to Body to see what I mean). Yes, it gets bad, but I think the fact that it doesn't just get you angry and bored is a sign that these guys aren't bad at what they do.Personally, I would have started with either one of their last albums or their first E.P. (way better than Filth, on the original re- issue). This is not a good starting point. I can listen to it, even, God forbid, enjoy it. Most people, however, can't. I understand. However, "Your Game" is just weird. The one piece on either disc that is honestly scary.
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I happen to own Holy Money LP and the Time is Money (Bastard) 12". A definite improvement, great stuff, hints at the excellent Children of God one year later. If you have a sense of humour about your religious belief (with "New Mind", you'll need one) and enjoy extremely original music, you just might like it. More songs like "Blackmail", including a quieter, reworked rendition of said piece. Some are genuinely brutal ("Beautiful Child"), creepy ("Blind Love"), and downright odd (the CD bonus "I'll Swallow You", actually two songs). The accompanying disc World of Skin is notable, if solely for the interesting back-and-forth weaving of Gira and Jarboe-sung tracks. Swans Lite, if you will. Quiet, reflective, but thankfully to bluesy or ominous to be called "goth". Most tracks on both are sung (though two are shouted and a few are chanted). But back to Greed/ Holy Money: The compilation is missing five tracks: The original, drumless version of "Fool"; the quiet, foreboding album version of "A Screw (Holy Money)"; the original cut of "Money is Flesh"; the subtle, slow-as-molasses, piano-led B-side "Sealed in Skin"; and the A-side rendition of "Time is Money (Bastard)", which begins with a chilling wail, a.k.a. Jarboe's first appearance. So, there's a rant. Yes, I'm obsessed. Then again, I am surprisingly eclectic.