- CST099CDCD £12.00
Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light
Marks the 15th anniversary of the band, founded and led by Efrim Menuck of Godspeed You! Black Emperor. First new SMZ full length since GYBE's return to action in 2011. Recorded in Quebec by Greg Norman (Electrical Audio). Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra (SMZ) has traced a barbed-wire arc of genre-defying protest music since its inception in 1999. Formed by Efrim Menuck, with Thierry Amar and Sophie Trudeau, the initial iteration of the band was a predominantly instrumental trio that forged a more intimate and ragged chamber-punk than Godspeed You! Black Emperor, in which group all three founding SMZ members also played (and continue to play).
Through seven albums from 2000-2010, SMZ expanded its line-up and shifted towards an increasing use of lead and group vocals, with Menuck penning politically-charged lyrics to anchor long-form multi-movement compositions that juxtaposed electrified guitars against a 4-piece string section of violins, cello and contrabass. Most recently, SMZ has pared back to five players, with Menuck's massive spectrum spanning electric guitar sound emerging as the spine around which two violins, bass (now more often electric than acoustic) and drums are deployed. SMZ have managed a handful of short tours in the past couple of years (in the gaps between GYBE commitments) and as anyone who has seen the band in its recent incarnation can attest, their current sound is more honed, laser-guided and bone-rattling than ever, melding hardcore, blues, garage and dark metal influences that have nothing to do with anything so quaint as â€œpost-rockâ€ (a tag the group has always and rightly rejected).
Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything is the first definitive document of the band's newfound sound and style as a quintet. Itâ€™s also their first single LP-length work since the bandâ€™s debut record as a trio almost 15 years ago, and features roadtested pummeling rock-outs â€œFuck Off Get Free (For The Island Of MontrÃ©al)â€, â€œTake Away These Early Grave Bluesâ€ and â€œWhat We Loved Was Not Enoughâ€ alongside the previously unheard lullabyes/minuets â€œLittle Ones Runâ€ and â€œRains Thru The Roof At Thee Grande Ballroom (For Capital Steeze)â€ and the album centerpiece â€œAusterity Bluesâ€ with its closing lyric â€œLord let my son live long enough to see that mountain torn downâ€ sung in varying incarnations throughout the second half of this 14-minute epic. This lyric in many ways encapsulates Menuck's unflinching take on a world replete with shabbiness, greed and injustice, seen through the lens of parenthood, mortality, endurance and defiance. There are few other musicians who deliver social critique with the courage and honesty of lines like â€œAll our cities gonna burn / All our bridges gonna snap / All our pennies gonna rot / Lightning roll across our tracks / All our children gonna dieâ€. Feel-good music this is not; but neither can it reductively be tagged apocalyptic or world-weary. Fuck Off Get Free rages with scorn and with hope, utterly passionate but pointedly unromantic. Thee Silver Mt. Zion once again demonstrates, like few other bands working today, that there is much to fight for and against, and plenty more fight songs to sing.
1. Fuck Off Get Free (For The Island Of Montreal) (10:22)
2. Austerity Blues (14:18)
3. Take Away These Early Grave Blues (6:47)
4. Little Ones Run (2:30)
5. What We Loved Was Not Enough (11:23)
6. Rains Thru The Roof At The Grande Ballroom (3:58)