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At All Ends

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Album Review

On their second album for Load, Gabriel Mindel Saloman and Pete Swanson again make a lot of righteously gloomy noise soundscapes for the masses — they wouldn't have it any other way, of course. With Daniel Voss again providing engineering help while Marcelo Spina oversees production, Yellow Swans begin the album with the title track, a slow swell of a throbbing dark rhythm the bedrock for a series of overlaid drones and feedback wails, Swanson's guitar turning slowly into a triumphant crescendo somewhere between a minimal sitar piece and pure overload. It's perhaps the most straightforwardly rock thing the band has recorded in some time but even then it's not quite normal, and a good thing too. From there much of the album seems to take on a desert theme, at least due to three successive song titles — "Stretch the Sands," "Our Oases," and "Mass Mirage." Alliteration and assonance aside, all three find Swanson fully embracing space rock dramatics filtered through the vast soundscapes created by the likes of Flying Saucer Attack, sheets of feedback howl and moan turning into something utterly transcendent, with "Our Oases" the most spectacular example even while being the shortest in length. "Endlessly Making an End of Things" concludes the album in a more astringent fashion initially, though like the opener more and more sound builds on it while mournful wordless vocals snake through the mix in counterpoint like distant siren songs.


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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At All Ends, Yellow Swans
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