Yellow Swans: Going Places
Type Recordings

Going Places perpetuates Type's recent gravitation towards the noisier end of the sonic spectrum. The release is also Yellow Swans' swan song (sorry), with American noise duo Pete Swanson (electronics, vocals) and Gabriel Mindel Saloman (guitars, electronics) having announced in April 2008 their decision to split. The album therefore affords a final opportunity to bask in the cranium-cracking bliss of Saloman's axe raging against Swanson's noise-generating machinery.

“Foiled” inaugurates the album with five minutes of volcanic turbulence and vulture-like squeals, after which “Opt Out” submerges the listener within a bubbling cauldron of pulsating rhythms, twanging guitars, and grimey washes for thirteen transporting minutes. The intensity escalates as the track develops, with bruising layers of guitar and howls of noise gradually combusting into a titanic, screeching fireball. A bell tolls throughout the convulsive death march “Limited Space” as if announcing beheadings certain to follow, and in “New Life,” shards of Saloman's guitar playing scrape and claw their way across a blistered landscape. “Sovereign” turns the dial down slightly for what could legimitately be called dark ambient, while the title track initially does much the same at album's end before taking flight with a lethal caterwaul. The work of Tim Hecker naturally comes to mind as one listens to Going Places, but Yellow Swans pushes even further into the noise realm. By album's end you'll feel like you've been buried under a mountain of volcanic ash.

March 2010