New Silver Mt. Zion: 13 Blues for Thirteen Moons
MP3:13 Blues for Thirteen Moons (edit)
They don’t have any LA area dates on our calendar at present but Montreal’s Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band–as they are currently billed, having variously gone by A Silver Mt. Zion, Thee Silver Mt. Zion and The Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra and Tra-La-La Band with Choirs–released their fifth LP, 13 Blues for Thirteen Moons, last Tuesday.
Distinguished from singer Efrim Menuck’s “other band,” the instrumental Godspeed You! Black Emperor (themselves coming up on six [!] years between records) for being a vocal-based project, this Silver Mt. Zion release is comprised of 4 epic tracks, totaling a few seconds shy of an hour. Much as I hate the word when applied to music, this might be Silver Mt. Zion’s most accessible set. (If, that is, a record that begins with 12 tracks, each of a few seconds of dog whistle frequency notes before starting the first song proper on track 13 can be called “accessible.”) It’s thankfully no departure from than their previous output–though the titular blues are definitely in there, brought to the fore with wrung electric guitars–and, as ever, the singing is raw, the lyrics caustic (Efrim’s handscrawled words included in the handsome packaging), the guitars hot and crunchy, strings alternately celebratory and mournful. In fact, strike that line about being accessible. On second thought, the reason this one feels accessible probably has more to to do with The Times We Live In raising our receptors (election year, war and whatnot) to meet Thee Silver Mt. Zion’s transmissions–2008 is tuned to their frequency, not the other way around.
Check out the record at the Constellation Records online shop here.