ALBUM REVIEW: “To Be Kind” by Swans


Ever since I was appointed the world champion of brand aware marketing for DIY indie guitar rock bands I’ve had a dream to be invited to Brisbane’s BigSound music conference to give a keynote speech about my experience in the music scene and how best to succeed. I’m yet to be invited but I have a feeling that if I was I’d give my speech like an avant-garde piece of performance art. The first thing I’d do is provide each member of the audience with a cupcake upon entry to the auditorium so they had something delicious to munch on and then once everyone was seated the lights would go out. The overhead projector screen would then light up simply with the word “This” and one by one the stage would fill with a range of dancers (of all shapes, sizes and gender) who would have previously been fed adequate stimulants to induce vomiting and extreme bowl movements. The dancers would be unaware of this and as they started to orchestrate their dance moves these stimulants would hit them and very slowly they would excrete a range of vomit and faeces with an intensity designed to illustrate an unhealthy mix of pain and pleasure.

The song playing over the speakers for the dancers to act out this rush of deception would be the opening track – “Screen Shot” – from SWANS brand new album “To Be Kind” and once the final moments of this song wind down the words on the overhead projector would simply change to “You are what you eat” and then the lights would go down and then come up again and I’d run out like Tony Robbins and start my seminar as audience members start to realise that those lovely cupcakes were laced with the same stimulants used to cripple the dancers from performing their dance.

Then from here I’d give a two hour speech cataloguing my diverse journey as a world champion DIY indie guitar rock marketing guru and the real test would be to see who could use mind over matter to survive the same fate as the previous mentioned dancers. This would be an exercise in proof pudding illustrating that the key to success is perseverance over adversity and the obstacles that life present you. Who ever remained and survived would win a special mentor session with me and my team of marketing experts.

As a record, “To Be Kind” is a flawless piece of art that is a fine example of how humans need to be making guitar music in 2014 and beyond.

By: Dan Newton

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