Godspeed You Black Emperor - Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada
Godspeed You! Black Emperor are frequently touted as the best and most influential post-rock band to ever form, often acclaimed for their ability to successfully tell a story within their music. So, based on the undying hype surrounding the band, I decided to invest some time in their music, which, to my surprise, met my high expectations. Never have I heard a band deliver a more powerfully subversive message; even punk bands, who explicitly write lyrics as a form of anarchy and rebellion, cannot match the potential of GY!BE, who show their full potential on their EP Slow Riot for New Zero Kanada.
In what becomes an almost painstaking series of climaxes and anti-climaxes, Godspeed You! Black Emperor allow the first of the two tracks on Slow Riot to drone, clash, oscillate in dynamics, and create a swirling orchestral sound. On their first song, "Moya," it takes almost seven minutes of a slow, though intensified, build-up to reach its climatic cresecndo, where the song absolutely collapses, fading into the darker realm of GY!BE. Following "Moya" lay the deep, dark sounds of strings, ominously eliciting strong feelings of nervousness and anxiety, as a brooding tension becomes nearly tangible through the music. "BBF3," the title of the EP's second and final song, then leads into a pre-recorded interview with a poet, where the words are strikingly subversive: "The American government is corrupt ... they're deceitful, they're lying, they're cheats, they're ripping the people off ... America is a third-world country and people don't recognize it and I think that's pretty god damn sad." These are just clips of the poet's emphatic words, which fade in and out with Godspeed's orchestra, who emphasize the already hostile tone of the song with its weaving, booming music.
The words and the music are in perfect harmony on Slow Riot, revealing the deep-rooted connection between Godspeed You! Black Emperor's music and their message--letting the music keep the emotions and direction of the song in place, while the words rivet the listener's mind. This music is dark, beautiful, finely produced, and volatile-yet tightly contained enough to avoid sloppiness-proving that GY!BE are truly deserving of the acclaim they have received over the years. Start with this one, then become immersed in their stories and sounds!
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on 2008-05-01 yardz23 Said:
True, it is 'short by GYBE's standards', but its probably my favorite release on its own because its so concise (or at least as concise 15 minute songs could be).
Moya to me is one of Godspeed's best mellow, meloncholy track and Blaise Bailey Finnegan III is my favorite 'heavy' song by them, making SLOW RIOT FOR NEW KANADA a very well balanced release.
on 2007-07-28 SolitaryMan Said:
Short by GY!BE's standards, this EP contains two movements of individual tracks. The first, "Moya", is an absolutely beautiful piece of music, slowly building from a blackened drone into a highly rhythmic crescendo that seems to stretch on for an agonizing amount of time before it drops you right off; this is perhaps GY!BE at their most mainstream and in-line with your typical rock band in terms of songwriting. This is the track I usually use to introduce new listeners to the band, and that makes alone makes "Slow Riot" worthy of owning. The 2nd movement, titled "BBF3" (after former Iron Maiden vocalist Blaze Bayley) is longer and includes more of the touches that round out the GY!BE listening experience. A tape sample of an interview with someone who claims to be a poet adds more depth and at least offers a glimpse at the direction the band was going here. The song moves slow for the first track or so, and eventual builds and breaks in fantastic fashion, similar to just about anything they've done before or since but still extremely moving and poetic. I've always been enamored with Godspeed's ability to create a poor man's symphony out of 3 guitarists, two bassists, two drummers, a cellist and a violinist. All of the layers of sound fuse together tremendously well, lending the group an air of accomplishment and experience that, in turn, lends to the already strong feel of glorious rapture and self-confirming hope the band displays in every passage and indeed every note.