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

Guitar-driven stratospheric ecstasy is the order of the day and it works wonderfully.

The name Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra has, like its membership and musical style, morphed and shifted over the past 15 years increasingly distancing itself away from the core members’ alter egos of Godspeed You! Black Emperor.

Let’s be straight about this, ‘Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything’ is not a Godspeed record under a different name, despite sharing the same fondness for overly long song titles. Whereas their parallel incarnation are masters of weaving huge tapestries of doom-laden pieces of rock, Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra revel in an immediacy, if not a brevity, to their work.

‘Fuck Off Get Free (For The Island Of Montréal)’, the monumental ten-and-a-half minute introduction to the album, starts innocently enough, laden heavy with shambolic vocals and frenzied violins. Two thirds of the way in, the earth-shattering basslines make their way into the track, managing to reign in that sense of initial chaos, holding everything together and potently reminding any doubters that the trio - Efrim Menuck, Thierry Amar and Sophie Trudeau - have lost none of their sense of the epic.

That sense of grandeur flanked by playful flamboyancy continues in ‘Austerity Blues’, the album’s beating heart which builds beautifully into a wall of noise accompanied by the repeated lyrics “Lord let my son live long enough to see that mountain torn down.” This is the musical equivalent of the ground opening up and swallowing you up whole, the sense of scale and space created by the band is nothing short of spectacular, yet never do they simply revert to filling it with a sense of world weariness found on GY!BE records. Here guitar driven stratospheric ecstasy is the order of the day and it works wonderfully.

‘Take Away These Early Grave Blues’ plays briefly with mandolins before dicing with bluesy garage rock whilst ‘Little Ones Run’ is hypnotic and sombre in its delivery. ‘What We Loved Was Not Enough’ melds the rumble of thick basslines with mournful violins and a bold statement of just how much this band have to give still, regardless of their guise.