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Going Places

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Album Review

Released after the duo formally called it a day, Yellow Swans' literal swan song found the two still exploring their way through often majestic drone — if the roots of the band had always been as much in uncontrolled experimentation as in serene contemplation, here the two sides found a fine fusion. It's evident from the start with "Foiled," where a buried mantra of a melody is surrounded by cascades of feedback and rhythmic, quick-paced sonics that feel like being caught in the world's biggest washing machine. It sets the general tone for the rest of the album, as the contrast — simple but devastatingly effective — of scraggly aural squalor and a looming sense of near-romantic melancholy plays out. "Limited Space" takes a slightly different feeling, cutting back the deeper, booming bass levels and featuring a central chime that feels more like you're floating above a thunderstorm than caught in the middle of it, building up to a steady, percussive pulse like a god's heartbeat. The title track, meanwhile, provides a fitting conclusion to both album and band, an increasingly high-volume squall that feels like an endless rise up and out, concluding on one last guitar part screaming away into the heavens behind a last swirl of distorted echo. "Opt Out," the longest track featured, might be the pinnacle of how the chaotic noise gets more violent even as a lovely guitar part fights to be heard in the mix; it's a fine representation of the album as a whole.

Biography

Formed: 2001 in Portland, OR

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Electro-noise duo the Yellow Swans formed in Portland, OR, in 2001, with the intention of combining punk's confrontational stance with the aggressively electronic sound of glitch. Like many other noise artists, Peter Swanson and Gabriel Mindel Saloman self-released several CD-Rs and cassettes of their music, as well as issuing EPs and 7"s on labels like Collective Jyrk and Chronditic Sound. Despite frequent tours and gigs with artists including Tussle, 7 Year Rabbit Cycle, Xiu Xiu, and Japanther,...
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Going Places, Yellow Swans
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