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Old 12.30.2012, 08:18 PM   #1
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Old 12.31.2012, 07:16 AM   #2
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Tool = Rock bottom
Swans = Rock
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Old 12.31.2012, 02:40 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Genteel Death
Tool = Rock bottom
Swans = Rock[/quote
 


Yeah, you're so cool.
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Old 12.31.2012, 06:20 PM   #4
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You're just crap at bands, that's all. And an arsehole. Fuck fuck off. arsehole.
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Old 12.31.2012, 11:06 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Genteel Death
You're just crap at bands, that's all. And an arsehole. Fuck fuck off. arsehole.

Actually, whenever I try to listen to any number of the bands y'all write up on your obscure favorite lists, they are all shit too me too, so if it makes you feel any better, the feeling is mutual. In fact, generally speaking, I think Swans are shit too, but I really dig this particular album.
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Old 01.01.2013, 07:04 AM   #6
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No Swans fan would ever think to set a Swans song to a video of someone in a canoe. My conclusion: Swans win.
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Old 01.01.2013, 07:34 AM   #7
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ok, ive taken your premise seriously and listened to the Tool song, and the person who set it to the extreme sports footage has, despite my initial cynicism, chosen the perfect visual accompaniment to Tool's music.

Im not a musician, but the difference between the two is the extent of the variation in the music. When Tool decide to "switch it up a gear" it comes in the form of SLIGHTLY LOUDER GUITARS. When Tool want to introuce some tension, it comes from GUITARS GETTING SLIGHTLY QUIETER BEFORE BECOMING SLIGHTLY LOUDER AGAIN (side note, this is the same reason I dont like Mogwai Fear Satan, but thats another thread)

With Swans, all of the shifts occur below the surface, they only become apparent to you after theyve happened. It appears to be plodding along fairly consistently, but then a nanosecond later you realise something is different, something has changed. And thats not even taking into account Gira's vocals. Or the way they introduce force and volume (yes, their earlier work is all force and volume, but im referring to their reformed incarnation).

Tool were always sold to me on the idea that "Hey, this is really intense, you'll like it!" and then when i got the CD home it just didnt click with me at all. On the surface, the two songs may be similar, but there's something completely different driving them.

Edit, I want to thank you actually, this has helped remind me what I really love about Swans.
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Old 01.01.2013, 11:13 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by SuchFriendsAreDangerous
 


Yeah, you're so cool.

This is actually pretty funny.

But still, the comparison is mind boggling. I mean no offense, but it may be the worst comparison of anything to anything. Ever.
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Old 01.01.2013, 12:01 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by the ikara cult
and then when i got the CD home it just didnt click with me at all.

Good point!

I find the TOOL CD's are too polished for my taste, but well worth seeing live. In my book, old Swans will always be better than new Swans.

No Jarboe = No Swans
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Old 01.01.2013, 02:33 PM   #10
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I don't mean any offense. I simply cannot handle Tool anymore. There was a time when I listened to them all the time, but that was long ago.

Seeing then live can be fun, though, as Bytor pointed out. But they just don't do anything for me anymore. I see Swans as being an entirely different kind of band, but to be honest I have not bothered to listen to the Tool song in question, so my opinion on the matter is based on memories from years ago.
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Old 01.01.2013, 02:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bytor Peltor
Good point!

I find the TOOL CD's are too polished for my taste, but well worth seeing live. In my book, old Swans will always be better than new Swans.

No Jarboe = No Swans

This was how I felt until I have The Seer a good long listen, start to finish, on headphones while j was supposed to be working. Ha!
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Old 01.01.2013, 03:13 PM   #12
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You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to the ikara cult again.
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Old 01.01.2013, 03:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Severian
I don't mean any offense. I simply cannot handle Tool anymore. There was a time when I listened to them all the time, but that was long ago.

Seeing then live can be fun, though, as Bytor pointed out. But they just don't do anything for me anymore. I see Swans as being an entirely different kind of band, but to be honest I have not bothered to listen to the Tool song in question, so my opinion on the matter is based on memories from years ago.

See, that is where so many of y'all got it twisted. I was not trying to compare tool and swans as bands or genres, rather just these two very specific songs because they approach the same style so radically differently. If anything, I wanted the contrast to be more obvious than the similarities, but all the haters got all music writer from Spin snobbish on me and didn't even get the point. Except for Ikara, because he actually listened to the tool track to see what I was getting at. Both use a droning, minimalist, primal rhythm to explore bass and guitar work, but it as was said, the motivation and muse is coming from entirely different places.

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Originally Posted by the ikara cult
ok, ive taken your premise seriously and listened to the Tool song, and the person who set it to the extreme sports footage has, despite my initial cynicism, chosen the perfect visual accompaniment to Tool's music.

Im not a musician, but the difference between the two is the extent of the variation in the music. When Tool decide to "switch it up a gear" it comes in the form of SLIGHTLY LOUDER GUITARS. When Tool want to introuce some tension, it comes from GUITARS GETTING SLIGHTLY QUIETER BEFORE BECOMING SLIGHTLY LOUDER AGAIN (side note, this is the same reason I dont like Mogwai Fear Satan, but thats another thread)

With Swans, all of the shifts occur below the surface, they only become apparent to you after theyve happened. It appears to be plodding along fairly consistently, but then a nanosecond later you realise something is different, something has changed. And thats not even taking into account Gira's vocals. Or the way they introduce force and volume (yes, their earlier work is all force and volume, but im referring to their reformed incarnation).

Tool were always sold to me on the idea that "Hey, this is really intense, you'll like it!" and then when i got the CD home it just didnt click with me at all. On the surface, the two songs may be similar, but there's something completely different driving them.

Edit, I want to thank you actually, this has helped remind me what I really love about Swans.

I agree perfectly with your analyses. Tool builds up with the guitar work, Swans uses a more minimalist approach, in the background, so that you only hear it after, and further, you're not even quite sure you really heard it. Further, the droning parts grind out until you hear them even after they've stopped. The emotion builds up from you with Swans, and from tool it is in the music itself.
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Old 01.03.2013, 04:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the ikara cult
o

Im not a musician, but the difference between the two is the extent of the variation in the music. When Tool decide to "switch it up a gear" it comes in the form of SLIGHTLY LOUDER GUITARS. When Tool want to introuce some tension, it comes from GUITARS GETTING SLIGHTLY QUIETER BEFORE BECOMING SLIGHTLY LOUDER AGAIN (side note, this is the same reason I dont like Mogwai Fear Satan, but thats another thread)

With Swans, all of the shifts occur below the surface, they only become apparent to you after theyve happened. It appears to be plodding along fairly consistently, but then a nanosecond later you realise something is different, something has changed. And thats not even taking into account Gira's vocals. Or the way they introduce force and volume (yes, their earlier work is all force and volume, but im referring to their reformed incarnation).


Not a big fan of new Swans or Tool of any period. But to articulate the above slightly differently - Tool's variations are more to do with syncopation, nuance - all fairly small but very much in keeping with the world they come from. (Prog) rock. There's some bits around 4.55 in that Tool song where the whole band are doing variations, rhythmic ones, which slowly shift away from the main motif before making the re-emphasis more 'jarring' (in a sense) but not because they never left it. It's a trick that only really works with some good musicians. Always the problem I've had with Tool is that I can't say anything other than that they're good musicians. Swans have always operated with a kind of brutal minimalism - 2 or 3 note melodies, minimal variation, no signifiers of being 'musicianly'. This hasn't really changed. But these two tracks aren't so very different. The thing is that rock music has so very little in it that incredibly small moderations unleash legions of difference; or rather, the master differences, the overwhelming semiotic, is cultural context. Musicology doesn't really have much to say for or to rock music. [Funnily enough, I've been returning to SY a bit of late on this basis].

I never really got why Neurosis get compared to Swans; superficially, there's so much that's similar, but for me Swans never played the 'metal' game; Neurosis don't sound radically different to Metallica, in those terms, for me. Tool I can see more similarity, but their rationale always feels like 'doing' prog without leaving 80s/ 90s metal 'proper'. So they sneak their prog tendencies in under the cloaks of rhythmic variation (never straying too far from 'the beat' and never that I've heard into the realm of swing or slur), fill and extended motifs. Beats are never dropped, rests are rarely used and the riff is always central.

In that sense I've got less to say about Swans. There's almost no point talking about them in musical terms. Not a lot happens. So it kind of either clicks or it doesn't. They're much more about drilling something home than showing any signs of musicality. For me the interest has more been in the lyrics - particularly Children of God, one of my all-time blah albums. Not much happens in the music; not much happens in the lyrics, but they're very well chosen. Occupations on an emotional moment with rarely much in the way of compass or narrative. Again, it either works or it doesn't but I do feel they do a small gesture which moves them away from the world of metal, in spite of apparent proximity - there's no 'them' and 'us' to Gira's lyrical world. Brutalist and barren but never quite spiteful or hateful.

Mmm. Yeah, those are some words.
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Old 01.03.2013, 09:06 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Glice
There's some bits around 4.55 in that Tool song where the whole band are doing variations, rhythmic ones, which slowly shift away from the main motif before making the re-emphasis more 'jarring' (in a sense) but not because they never left it. It's a trick that only really works with some good musicians. Always the problem I've had with Tool is that I can't say anything other than that they're good musicians.

Fucking exactly!

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Swans have always operated with a kind of brutal minimalism - 2 or 3 note melodies, minimal variation, no signifiers of being 'musicianly'. This hasn't really changed.

Very true, and generally I find it to brutal and and abrasive, I'm into the more Jesus Lizard kind of brutality, more swing less drone. However it think that after three decades these guys in their post-proto-promutation of Swans finally made it clique. There is finally some musicality to these minimalist attacks, they discovered the depth of multi-layered production and put it together nicely. This is the only Swans album I have not only even been able to just sit through, but have stuck in heavy rotation. It has really gotten into me lately.

Quote:
But these two tracks aren't so very different.

Exactly what I was trying to say with this thread, and the haterz made me regret it initially, but you and ikara's more legitimate contributions have made me instead very glad to have posted it. These bands are radically different in their approach to music, and yet they created songs very similarly.

Quote:
The thing is that rock music has so very little in it that incredibly small moderations unleash legions of difference; or rather, the master differences, the overwhelming semiotic, is cultural context. Musicology doesn't really have much to say for or to rock music.

Which is exactly why the overall similarity to rock musics is what makes certain kinds of musicians and approaches better than others. That and in truth it is always a matter of the nuances of individual taste.


Quote:
In that sense I've got less to say about Swans. There's almost no point talking about them in musical terms. Not a lot happens. So it kind of either clicks or it doesn't. They're much more about drilling something home than showing any signs of musicality. For me the interest has more been in the lyrics

On The Seer there really is actually a lot going on, albeit a lot of minimalist shit layered together, but it finally seems to sync and work. What is funny is I really dig tool even more so specifically for the lyrics, and this Swans album also has a certain introspective spiritual reflective tendency like Maynard. I listen to A Perfect Circle for similar reasons, Maynard seems to sync with my own way of understanding a lot of life. I like this Swans album, though, its the first time I've paid enough attention to their lyrics, it makes me want to reinvestigate

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there's no 'them' and 'us' to Gira's lyrical world. Brutalist and barren but never quite spiteful or hateful.

You nailed it. It is nihilism without necessarily being cynical. Very much the mindstate of the Alexandrian Desert Fathers and the revival under the late Father Sepharim Rose. Oh yeah, I am in part connected with the whole Death to the World scene, which is why I really dig existentialism in lyrics. Too me, ALL music and ALL lyrics have the potentiality for such depth, but it is much appreciated when it is more so intended rather then a matter of serendipity.

Thank you Glice, a very inspiring post.
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