Swans have had an interesting stylistic trajectory over the last 40 years, and listening to Filth in comparison to their later discography is a perfect example of this. This is an extremely heavy and ugly album. It’s aggressive, unpredictable and genuinely unsettling to listen to, with some of the most vitriolic, disturbing and brutal sounds I have ever heard. It’s clear this thing was made on a budget, with some limitations, such as the song Big Strong Boss ending abruptly because the band had reportedly run out of tape at the time, however despite this the album has some pretty incredible production, not to mention some extremely abrasive and interesting instrumentation. A lot of the songs have this really off-putting rhythm to them which make it extremely difficult to place whether or not they are being swung or not, and Michael Gira’s ever cryptic lyrics and harsh performance is the driving force and heart of the project. This is one of Swans’ shortest albums, and probably their least subtle, but there is a lot to admire here. Some notable standouts are the opening track Stay Here, Power for Power, and Right Wrong. The brutal and relentless performance from Gira on top of the violent and surprisingly tight instrumentals are what makes Filth a mesmerising experience – something that persists throughout Swans’ discography no matter what genres they shift between.