Godspeed You Black Emperor - slow riot for new zero kanada e.p.
This sounds horrific in theory. Two tracks, 28 minutes. But, itís received good reviews, and probably what pushed me towards buying it was that it received a good review in Fracture, which given itís heavily punk /hardcore bias made me think that if they like it, then maybe it is worth checking out. So, I took the chance and picked a copy up. Am I glad I did? Oh yeah. This is superb. Yeah, itís kind of self indulgent, and in a way hard work, but thereís so much atmosphere and the whole way in which itís put together means that even without any vocals, I donít find this boring at all.
The first track Moya is about 10 minutes long, but it feels like if that's too long for you you can break it down into 3 minute chunks. It's not how it should be done of course. It builds slowly, hauntingly atmospheric, it really does have the feel of a soundtrack, though the film would no doubt be some pretentiously arty bollocks with a meaningful message that a simpleton like me just wouldn't get. The violins and strings are mournful and bleak, but the music grows, and more instrumentation and textures added. The drums caress it, eventually leading the music to a more climatic level. The guitars chime and mix with all those strings. It never gets loud, don't even contemplate the word heavy. Yet at the same time everything is perfectly audible. But hypnotic. Those 10 minutes fly by.
The second track BBF3 starts with a spoken word tape recording of some incident in the background. There's more evidence of guitars this time, but you don't need them. This just twists and turns all over the place, but always demands your attention. It has the ability to detect if your interest is waining and comes and gives you a slap in the facein order to regain your attention. But it even does that gently with feeling and sorrowful expression.
Personally I think this is an outstanding release, and I thank Fracture zine for inspiring me to go out and buy it. I canít say what it sounds like, because I simply donít have that knowledge. I havenít heard the "Metallica meets the orchestra" stuff, but I canít imagine that it manages to get the same balance that this does in terms of orchestration. This is music that has been built to fit it, not twisted around to see if it can fit in. My reference point, that is the closest I can think of in terms of what I listen to, would probably be a more depressed and doleful God Machine, at their most melancholy. But donít take that as gospel, itís the best I can come up with. Why do I like it? Well, to me itís challenging, epic music, atmospheric, sucks you in, draws your attention. Music that creates a picture in your mind. In the same way as say Tool does or something of that ilk. But this obviously does it through a different approach. Iím not comparing any of the bands Iíve mentioned with Godspeed because they are nothing alike musically. Itís just the reasoning for me liking this, If you want the quick fix, require outrageously hook ridden choruses, then this isn't for you. If you like real atmosphere in your music, or fancy just spreading the wings and trying something a little different, then this is it. Me? I'm off to buy whatever other Godspeed releases I can find. To me this really is that good. Great packaging as well.
Available on Krank
Consumed - Hit For SixFatWreckChords
Been waiting quite a while it seems for this, the full length debut from Consumed, to be released. The mini-cd was a bit of a cracker, even if the first time that I saw them I dismissed them as mere FatWreckChords clones. Shows that I can be wrong at times, and I'm happy to admit that. Though having the thing released on Fat is well, on one hand it's the ideal label, cos it sets out their stall, but on the other hand it could be a hindrance, because they're not entirely Fat clones, and besides, like it or not, it seems to be the case that people only buy certain labels dependant upon what scene they're into. But even worse, they tend to only focus on the American bands in that scene. So personally I wonder if Consumed will get a fair chance from the er Consumer, even though they're on the right label.
Ultimately it should come down to the music, which in the Consumed case is fairly hard and frantic pop-punk ala Snuff. It even borders towards the metal end of things at time, at least in the guitar tone and some of the riffs. There are a number of them that if they aren't metal in their origin could certainly be covered and not seem at all out of place. And it's always pushed along by frentic out of control drums which offer up a particularly sublime moment on Lead The Way. And only 1 song even threatens to break into the 3 minute mark.
And in some ways it's a little bit of a disappointment. Dunno, I think my hopes and expectations for this were maybe too high because it's really very good, it's just not hit with the same impact as Breakfast, which is a shame. I think the thing for me is this, there are times when Consumed produce some absolute classics, such as Wake Up With A Smile , King Kong Song and Promoter Head. The riffs are absolutely huge, they hook you on their own, there's some great melodies and a massive chorus. And at times like that you think that there's no reason that Consumed can't be as big as the biggest of their peers. Certainly they're playing on the same field, but of course they're British. And they are a little bit harder. But then the rest of the songs just can't match that standard. It's not surprising really, most bands, even the successful ones have a bunc of songs on most albums which merely "exist" but you put up with because of the great moments. And that for me is what's going on here. The album is only 34 minutes long, but some of the songs kind of drag. Simply because of the great material surrounding them.
Live favourite Twat Called Maurice is finally here, so that I can figure out that I've been spelling the name wrong in every review I've mentioned it in the past. It ain't Morris, it's Maurice. Ah well, doesn't disguise the fact that it's a cracking song with probably the best title of last year. In fact the whole album is worthwhile. Full of melodies, riffs, hooks, and good songs. I'd have thought it was well worth checking out for anyone who likes fun hooky songs with big guitars, and absolutely essential for anyone who plays in the Fat, Epitaph, Nitro kind of area. But then, you already knew that, didn't you?