Yellow Swans - Going Places (2010)

Released after the duo formally called it a day, Yellow Swans' literal swan song found the two still exploring their way through often majestic drone -- if the roots of the band had always been as much in uncontrolled experimentation as in serene contemplation, here the two sides found a fine fusion. It's evident from the start with "Foiled," where a buried mantra of a melody is surrounded by cascades of feedback and rhythmic, quick-paced sonics that feel like being caught in the world's biggest washing machine. It sets the general tone for the rest of the album, as the contrast -- simple but devastatingly effective -- of scraggly aural squalor and a looming sense of near-romantic melancholy plays out. "Limited Space" takes a slightly different feeling, cutting back the deeper, booming bass levels and featuring a central chime that feels more like you're floating above a thunderstorm than caught in the middle of it, building up to a steady, percussive pulse like a god's heartbeat. The title track, meanwhile, provides a fitting conclusion to both album and band, an increasingly high-volume squall that feels like an endless rise up and out, concluding on one last guitar part screaming away into the heavens behind a last swirl of distorted echo. "Opt Out," the longest track featured, might be the pinnacle of how the chaotic noise gets more violent even as a lovely guitar part fights to be heard in the mix; it's a fine representation of the album as a whole.

-Ned Raggett, All Music

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