(Dove) Yellow Swans – Live During War Crimes (Release the Bats) 2006


I’m pretty sure that this is the first Yellow Swans record I heard and listening to it again after a break of about two years, I am in awe of just how good Yellow Swans were. Although they broke up over a year ago I still miss them. They took noise as a genre and it made it into something far more powerful and wonderful than most of their contemporaries. They were, and I hesitate to use the word, producing a sophisticated, multi-textured sound that I still don’t think anyone else has matched. Mouthus and Burning Star Core probably come closest to the just how sublime Yellow Swans were and if you have any love of noise then I can’t stress how much you need to get this. Live During War Crimes is a compilation  which brings together previously released tracks that appeared on limited run CDr’s and cassettes.  For their majority of their releases Yellow Swans added a word beginning with D in front of their name  which changed with each new release. The tracks on this were originally performed by Drill, Demonic and Dusk Yellow Swans and appeared on labels like Scratch and Sniff, Hung Like a Horse and Collective Jyrk but is is a mystery as to which of the six untitled tracks relate to which release. All of the tracks date from 2004 which is probably why the record works better than your average compilation.
It’s hard to describe the racket Yellow Swans make. On this record they manage to combine drone, visceral noise, rhythm, texture, guitars and electro-fuckery to create an improvised “something” which at times is almost beautiful. In fact, for those really looking for  noise nirvana then this may be the record for you. They got lumped in with bands like Wolf Eyes but I’ not sure that comparison was ever particularly sensible. Although there are moments of noise mayhem, the Yellow Swans were always a couple of steps removed those more visceral bands. When I listen to this I realise that along with Burning Star Core, Yellow Swans were (are) probably my favorite noise band. If you find a copy of this just buy it.

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