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CONSTELLATION / KRANKY RECORDS

Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven

    This two-disc Godspeed You Black Emperor tour de force is considered something of a milestone of the post-rock age. The first disc opens with slowly drifting ambient droning, which gradually begets mournful strings and a distant, pitch-shifted evangelical sermon before an increasingly ominous thudding rock beat, guitars, glockenspiel, distortion, and bass come spiraling in to break things up for an ever-tightening crescendo. The following piece, "Static", is marked by the early arrival of a hauntingly sad melody (yes, an actual melody), followed by slowly accelerating beats and the ghost of a dying bagpipe--one of Emperor's truly majestic moments--which later segues into shopping announcements and more treated distortion.

    The second disc starts off with a sample of an old man reminiscing about the long-lost glory days of Coney Island. The music coasts on through the ashes of time from there, drifting with swooping guitars that sound like Yma Sumac vocals, building into crescendo after crescendo, with drums increasing, pounding, and expiring. The last track kicks off with some bluesy folk crooning that then dissolves into an evaporating haze of strings and guitars. By turns operatic, rocked-out, and mournfully apocalyptic, "Antennas" conjures deep emotions, landscapes, and even socio-political commentary, and some might sincerely argue that it also makes wonderful housecleaning music.


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