I suppose it shouldn’t be too surprising that post-rock titans Godspeed You! Black Emperor would announce a new album at this particular moment in time. After all, the last twelve months seem like something prophesied by one of their songs: a world overrun by a deadly virus in which governments and elected officials fail their citizens, the leader of the “Free World” seeks to undermine democracy, police brutality runs unchecked, and the socio-economic divide continues to widen every day.
All of which provides an interesting backdrop for the Canadian outfit’s seventh full-length: G_d’s Pee AT STATE’S END!. Written while the band was still on the road, the album was recorded last October at the fabled Hotel2Tango studio. Here’s the track listing:
- A Military Alphabet (five eyes all blind) (4521.0kHz 6730.0kHz 4109.09kHz) / Job’s Lament / First of the Last Glaciers / where we break how we shine (ROCKETS FOR MARY)
- Fire at Static Valley
- “GOVERNMENT CAME” (9980.0kHz 3617.1kHz 4521.0 kHz) / Cliffs Gaze / cliffs’ gaze at empty waters’ rise / ASHES TO SEA or NEARER TO THEE
- OUR SIDE HAS TO WIN (for D.H.)
From the press release:
GYBE returns with another soundtrack for our times. As the heretical anarcho-punk spirit of the title implies, Godspeed harnesses some particularly raw power, spittle and grit across two riveting 20-minute side-length trajectories of noise-drenched widescreen post-rock: inexorable chug blossoms into blown-out twang, as some of the band’s most soaring, searing melodies ricochet and converge amidst violin and bassline counterpoint. Field recordings and roiling semi-improvised passages frame these fervent epics, and two shorter self-contained 6-minute pieces find the band at its most devastatingly beautiful, haunting and elegiac. Poignant atmospherics, noise-drenched orchestration, drone, hypnotic swingtime crescendos, inexorably-layered towers of distorted clarion sound: STATE’S END encapsulates every beloved facet of the band. Twenty-five years on, this new album is as vital, stirring, timely and implacable as any in Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s storied discography.
Finally, here’s a snippet from the band’s statement, which offers some insight into the inspiration and mindset behind the album:
this record is about all of us waiting for the end.
all current forms of governance are failed.
this record is about all of us waiting for the beginning,
and is informed by the following demands=
empty the prisons
take power from the police and give it to the neighbourhoods that they terrorise.
end the forever wars and all other forms of imperialism.
tax the rich until they’re impoverished.
G_d’s Pee AT STATE’S END! will be released by Constellation on April 2 on LP, CD, and digital. The album page features several photos of both the vinyl and CD’s elaborate artwork and packaging, which looks gorgeous and hearkens back to the legendary packaging for the band’s earliest releases.
Indeed, everything about the new Godspeed album seems reminiscent of releases like Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada and Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven — which is a very good thing in my mind.