2 Dec 2016

Sex Swing / Sex Swing (album review)

So uncompromising are cosmic drone uber-group Sex Swing that every single aspect of their self titled debut album teems with the same unforgiving vitriol. Right down to the festering mucus of the cover art, Sex Swing is a complete artwork that brings to the fore the very darkest realms of the human psychee, transforming them into a kind of music that is so evil, so filthy, yet has the ability to transcendentally command the attention of the listener. When you put the Sex Swing record on, you can't turn it off; it's enthralling, bombastic and at this exact point in human history, just what we need.

Sex Swing are a force of nature; from the off, with 12 minute opener A Natural Satellite, they set the uncompromising tone for the rest of the record. Maybe a mix between the intense drone of the Melvins' Lysol and the bustling sci-fi futurism of Stereolab's Dots and Loops (a combination that sounds batshit on paper, but more so in practice). The sax on this track, sounding like the void itself being forced through a brass tube, kicks in midway through the droning composition and doesn't stop its incessant invasion of the sonic field until the very end of the last track.

The 1828 'Red Barn Murders' are covered in the most cold and threatening way possible on kraut-drone murder ballad The Murder of  Maria Marten; nine minutes of subsuming, slow burning drone that mixes eerie tones with muttered, cold vocals. The saxophone is a constant sprawl, mixing with key parts from a horrible dystopian future as frontman Dan Chandler malevolently mutters "I am William Corder" over the top of the ensuing chaos.

The pop hit from the album, the banger, the one to get the girls moving to, is Karnak. A five minute explosion of claustrophobic post-punk guitar jolts, hollering sax parts, and storming proto-punk drumming that drives the song on and on and on. Like The Modern Lovers on a bad trip. A really bad trip. Although this is radically different to the drones of ...Maria Marten and A Natural Satellite, it captures the same nihilistic mood of absolute dystopia.

Sex Swing is music for the future, but a well and truly fucked one at that. Scorched earth rock that teems with the dystopia, a soundtrack to a Dr Strangelove sequel, the middleman between us and the void. Fucked up music, for fucked up times; and completely and utterly brilliant.


(Words: Cal Cashin)