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GODSPEED YOU BLACK EMPEROR! - Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antenna To Heaven

Written by: Helter-Skelter Published on: 02 Feb 2001

CD cover Godspeed You Black Emperor! is a band from Montreal, Canada; at the last count numbering ten (three guitarists, two bassists, violinist, cellist, two percussionists and a projectionist) who individually are not as important as the band as a whole and subsequently change frequently. GYBE!’s politics run along the lines that whole of America is a corporate fuck-up that is going to bring the end of the world in the next few year, but they don’t want to be miss represented so refuse to do interviews. They are purely instrumental, a no keyboards basis is expressly stressed and their songs themselves are as apocalyptic as the titles that describe them. Lift Your Skinny Fists… is a double CD; two tracks each side, each track lasting over twenty minutes contains; pieces of music, monologs, static, field recordings, small instrumental solos and general noise, all along a similar theme. The sleeve notes map it all out for you to make it easier to follow, naming each piece in the track rather than the tracks themselves.

GYBE!’s music is all about the crescendos, they make a song build up through droning rhythms and any way of getting as much noise as possible out of their array of guitars (including the use of: bows, distortion, feedback and screwdrivers), they supply military style drumming and melodies from the sting section and a glockenspiel. This is what makes …Skinny Fists… so satisfying. It is so easy to listen to and at the same time interesting.

The music here takes you from the intensifying waves of ‘Gathering Storm’ and ‘World Police And Friendly Fires’ to the everlasting momentum of ‘Monhiem’ and ‘3rd Part’ to the almighty kick of ‘She Dreamt She Was A Bulldozer, She Dreamt She Was Alone In An Empty Field’. The field recordings emphasise the mood GYBE! are trying to get across; ghost like trains on ‘Terrible Canyons Of Static’, an old man reminiscing about Coney Island, young French girls singing, a Mexican boarder gas stations warning tourists to be wary of the natives and a preacher explaining his visions of God.

This is the world of Godspeed You Black Emperor! This is none corporate, none commercial music for the masses. This music shouldn’t only be heard for any political content because that really isn’t important in the whole scale of things, it should be heard because it’s fulfilling, powerful music and you are not going to hear anywhere else. So lift your skinny fists like antenna to heaven and thank the lord that finally some decent music has come out of Canada.

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