Death needs time like a junkie needs junk.Screen Shot is the opening track to Swans' 2014 album To Be Kind. They're a band who have always made uncompromising, monumental music. The thing with monuments though is that they're built to mark the passing of time. They're never there for the benefit of the present, but to mark the past. In that sense, Screen Shot might be the least monumental thing the band have ever done.
– William Burroughs
It's a song that is all about the present. It's built around a single chord with all of the stillness that implies; although it builds and grows there's nothing in the way of progression or development. It's all about living in the ritual now. To live in the present is to live without suffering. Is that a message we can believe from Michael Gira? I'm not sure he's such a reliable source, not when his song ends with a crescendo of cacophonous pain. As a noise it's magnificent, as an eternal moment it's a terrifying prospect. Brilliant stuff though, not that it needs my recommendation.
Swans - Screen Shot