Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress (Constellation; 2015)
When it comes to politics, Montreal post-rock outfit Godspeed You! Black Emperor has never been one for subtlety; 2012’s ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! explicitly took on the Maple Spring student protests, going as far as to include direct references to Bill 78 and Plan Nord within its cover art. If Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress’s politics feel undefined, its meandering drones curiously robbed of conceptuality and rendered faceless, Godspeed nonetheless bring forth a more destructive and anarchic sonic dimension to their already packed tonal palette. Strings roar with the nagging ferocity of a buzzsaw on both of the album’s uncommonly violent musical suites, with opening movement “Peasantry Or ‘Light! Inside Of Light!’” radiating with acid western-tinged fervor. While the album’s origins as a mammoth-sized live staple are as clear as day, proving less than conducive in the case of the un-rewardingly drawn-out “Lambs’ Breath,” “Piss Crowns are Trebled” serves up a soaring crescendo of a closer on what would’ve otherwise been better suited as an EP.
Trial Track: “Piss Crowns are Trebled”