October 8, 2012

2012.10.08 Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!

Color: Black

Released: 2012, October 15

Label: Constellation

A tour from GY!BE in 2012 would have been enough. But then the ensemble went and blessed us with the announcement of a new recording. A recording that, for fans able to see them on said tour (or at least the first few dates), was available before the world at large knew it existed in completed form. So here it is - almost ten years to the date of their last recorded output - and it’s as if the band have not missed a beat. If you want to get technical, two of the compostions here are reportedly based off of music heard live as far back as 2003. Still… the music on Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! kicks the ass of any band that has ever even loosely attributed GY!BE as an influence within those past ten years. There seems no better time for the sometimes politically charged music of theirs to resurface. And bits of the projections from their recent live sets have reflected this. (Lest you think the band have no sense of humor, look to the inscriptions scratched into the 7” with the drone pieces that leads you here.) I am definitely guilty of not realizing how much I have missed Godspeed until seeing them three nights ago and playing this record non-stop since. I absolutely cannot get enough of the third track on here, “We Drift Like Worried Fire.” It could possibly be one of the band’s most beautiful tracks. There’s a section at about the 5:25 mark where the stringed instruments positively induce chills. ‘not to cheaply describe… but there’s an otherworldly feeling similar to My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless. What I mean by this is that what you are hearing seems somewhat alien, yet instantly gorgeous and it plays with your head in the most pleasant way. Listen, this might sound cheesy - but we all love music and realize it does this for us - but there’s something kind of instantly classic about this track and it will soundtrack memories to come or even vaguely remind you fond memories prior to the moment you are hearing it. In light of all this, I’ve become sort of obsessed with the band. The cover of this record employs  a grainy, hazy sort of photograph that works well for the music, but I kind of miss some of the printing techniques the band employed for their first three releases (although, the back cover’s typography does receive a hit of spot varnish). That doesn’t mean the band have necessarily skimped on packaging though… the LP jacket and inner fold-out sleeve are decked out with eye-filling artwork. Here’s hoping we hear more from the band soon, as some newer material was played during this current tour of theirs.

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