apologies for all this, was drunk when I wrote the first one and monumentally hung over for the second so both the logic and the fundamental point itself are pretty fucking absurd.
as for the stereogum article, it wasn't the review itself but rather the comments section. they're symptomatic of what the problem is, not you skuj. you've obviously expressed a willingness to explore beyond their recent output. I'll give you an example: I had a bunch of friends who "loved" the new swans stuff because it was I shit you not "dark" and "rad" because of said darkness, so I put on some fushitsusha and they all fucking recoiled. I understand that the latter are more abrasive than swans, and not so much cartoonishly dark (as swans are) as they are molasses black to the core, but on a basic level they are both hellish noise rock, that's it. and yet these people for some reason totally unknown to me can't resonate with this music on any level whatsoever, as a result of which I am totally bemused.
it's not that they have a widening fanbase which is of concern to me, hell I wasn't even born when swans were in their original run so who the fuck am I to comment? instead what I'm saying is this newfound group appreciate the music on an incredibly superficial level, and I guess it's the age-old feud between 'music fan' and 'music lover', given that this is an art form which I for better or worse take deadly seriously. popularity is never, EVER an issue, but to have people latching on (perhaps merely momentarily) who are only fleetingly interested in the group irrevocably undermines the band for me, something which is my fault entirely but still an indubitable fact from my own perspective.
that gira seems to be pandering to this is understandable, yeah, but it's disappointing from someone who has seemed so steadfastly committed to his own idiosyncratic vision from the outset of his career. early swans didn't feel like a child's nightmare from fucking nickolodeon (which the last two records do, not so much my father) and that it is so theatrical does make me dislike it a bit considering how disconcertingly (and genuinely) intense something like filth or holy money was.
in the interests of full disclosure I am again drunk.