Friday, 31 January 2014

Album Review:Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra– Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything


Overshadowed by instrumental rock stalwarts Godspeed You! Black Emperor, with which the band shares most of it's members, Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra have none the less managed to build up a large discography of their own with seven albums and two EPs to their name. Despite some confusing alterations in the band name over the years (they've also have been know as A Silver Mt. Zion, Thee Silver Mt. Zion, Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band the group have been a reliable source of music for fans of innovative and grand rock music, especially since the demise of Godspeed. The two groups share a lot of sonic ground, with ambient passages, samples and a string section and non-traditional instruments along side the standard band set up but Mt. Zion have always set themselves up to explore more than just the tense and bleak atmospheres of their sibling band.

Their provocatively titled new album Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything is a snarling attack on austerity and the attitudes and society it has created. Where as other groups lumped into the post rock genre spend a lot of time staring at their feet and twiddling with their collection of delay pedals, Mount Zion deliver an immediate and angry art-punk cacophony.

It opens with Fuck Off Get Free (For The Island Of Montreal) which plays out like a manifesto for open dissent. The song's closest attempt at a chorus comes from a repeated refrain of 'There's fire in our dreams' delivered by band leader Efrim Manuck in a half-slurred, spirited and wild fashion with a sound that comes across like the wall of sound punk-rock of fellow Canadians Fucked Up. The song breaks out some earth scorching heavy riffs half way through. The result is exciting, lyrically embodying a punk ethos in it's defiance and presenting it in a crushingly heavy style.

Austerity Blues continues to dish out some big riffs, getting close to Led Zeppelin territory, before upping the tempo as guitars and violins wrestle out a huge and violent melody. The song seems to up the stake till it can go no further and spend the second half of its fourteen minutes wind back down allowing the strings to come forth creating some calm after the carnage. What We Loved Was Not Enough takes a softer approach but is no less direct in it's message. By the time it reaches a repeated phrase 'Are our children gonna die' at its climactic peak this post rock ballad does veer along a line between melodrama and impassioned emotion.

The group ends the album with Rains Thru The Roof At The Grande Ballroom (For Capital Steez) a tribute for the promising nineteen year-old rapper and Pro Era member who committed suicide in 2012. The track feels like a moment of hopelessness, the image of the abandoned venue show a possible future where music is no longer valued lies at it's centre as piano and a mellotron choir back the image. With Fuck You Get Free We Pour Light On Everything the band create a forceful justification of their art over expansive and experimental punk anthems. This album makes for a bold statement and a visceral listen, proving the band is much more than just an offshoot.

Originally posted on

No comments:

Post a Comment