Saturday 18 November 2017

Speed away nowPretentious: Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Eamon Sweeney

Eamon Sweeney

Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!

(Constellation/ Kranky)

HIIII

Seth Rogen has a great line in Pineapple Express when he tells a girl he's dating: "You're going to college next year. You'll get into Godspeed You! Black Emperor and The Shins, blow a bunch of dudes and become a lesbian."

This cinematic reference hits upon the paradox that while this shadowy collective have deliberately shunned mainstream success, they've become a massive and global cult band.

Nobody else on earth does instrumental apocalyptic post-rock quite as effectively or, perhaps more accurately, as pretentiously.

The are two major problems with GYBE. Firstly, they frequently come across as a complete shower of precious, sanctimonious whinge bags. Secondly, to pretentiously paraphrase Shakespeare, their music is little more than sound and fury signifying nothing.

To say this album is as dull as dishwater is probably being unfair on dishwashers. The titles truly give the game away on how up itself this album is (as if the horribly portentous name weren't enough).

I'm sorry, but I cannot take seriously any act that insists on christening tracks, Their Helicopters' Sing, We Drift Like Worried Fire, and wait for it, Strung Like Lights at Thee Printemps Erable.

The bottom line is thousands of bands do this kind of thing much better while investing much more soul and emotion. Mogwai and Wicklow band God Is An Astronaut are just two examples.

While the first Godspeed album in about a decade is obviously a big deal for many, I'd advise you to give it a wide berth.

KEY TRACKS Mladic

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