REVIEW: Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra – ‘Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything’

Thee Silver Mt Zion Memorial Orchestra Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything

Artist: Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra
Album: Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything
Genre: Post-rock
Label: Constellation

Even though Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra is an offshoot of legendary post-rock group Godspeed You! Black Emperor—composed of GY!BE’s guitarist Efrim Menuck, violinist Sophie Trudeau, and bassist Thierry Amar, alongside drummer David Payant and violinist Jessica Moss—they have a different mindset when chasing goals. The government is still the enemy, but the key to decode it all is half as blurred as it was before.

Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything is Thee Silver Mt. Zion’s seventh LP to date, and on it they haven’t taken a particularly new route. Internal changes and altered perspectives are the most obvious of influences on their new record. Instead of scrapping old sounds and constructing something fresh, they’ve let themselves become reconstructed instead – or at least that’s what happens when you have a child for the first time. It’d be hard to think otherwise when opening track “Fuck Off Get Free (For The Island Of Montreal)” begins with Menuck and Moss’s child proclaiming, “We make a lot of noise because we love each other.” Duh, of course. Leave it to children to simplify the truth when things are too overwhelming to make out what’s important.

It’s with this shifted sense of self and realigned path that Thee Silver Mt. Zion set out to wrestle with life’s biggest demons, host an investigative conversation over a home-cooked meal, and then videotape the occurrence, later splicing some of that struggle into their music.

For any new listeners, Menuck’s vocals take some time to get used to. It isn’t the whine of your flatmate when his cat escapes again; it’s a portal for the jagged joy and sorrow that have yet to be rounded due to their recent emergence. If it were glossed over to sound sweeter, we wouldn’t digest his words the same way. If it were eliminated altogether, we would be left decoding printed timelines and photo essays in the traditional GY!BE way.

We’re given a break from his yelping in the short but blissful “Little Ones Run.” The song, just over two-minutes in length, is a half-broken beam of light coming through winter clouds, where you’re surprised you feel warmth… even though that’s what the sun does. It serves as the short but pertinent reminder of Earth’s state before it was tampered with. While it calls out to Grizzly Bear’s “Foreground” and Scary Mansion’s dark, broken vocals, “Little Ones Run” is the calm reminder that life can improve.

Perhaps the only other section to nod to optimism in Fuck Off is its final moment in “Rains Thru The Roof At The Grande Ballroom (For Capital Steez)”. French translations about a musical lifestyle give way to a tired heartbeat, similar to, but less than, GY!BE’s final moment of “Antennas to Heaven” titled “Deathkamp Drone”—where glimmering chimes and a faded, screeching horn give us a half-lucid look at what we believe to be heaven—in that we believe altruism is achievable and a greater presence is within reach, if only to make the aesthetics of this world more important than they appear for face value.

As they step more into the spotlight—as a means of storytelling, not egotism—Thee Silver Mt. Zion draw back the curtain shielding trust in authority. There’s no time for gimmicky music-writing in their songs. They cut to the facts, insert interviews, and yelp with the kind of urgency only they can warn us about; we just need to recognize buzzing noise as a compass arrow instead of a temporary cure for blindness. They know the way out, and they’re guiding us there defiantly.

Score: 8/10

Review written by: Nina Corcoran (Follow her on Twitter)

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