Godspeed You Black Emperor! Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven (Kranky)
Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven (Kranky)
Reviewed by Michael Chamy, Fri., Nov. 10, 2000
Godspeed You Black Emperor!
Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven (Kranky)Cinematic in its scope and breathtaking in its grandiose beauty, Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven, the second full-length from this nine-piece instrumental behemoth from Montreal, must be heard to be believed. The double album is divided into four sprawling tracks, each with three or more movements, with titles that only hint at the stunning amalgam of found sounds, string-driven ambience, kerosene-soaked guitar squall, and percussive tribal fury contained within. Field recordings of street preachers, foreign children at play, and old men reminiscing lend a human voice and a powerful mystique to the proceedings. Yet what propels GYBE! past their avant-garde contemporaries is the their keen compositional abilities. "Static," off the first disc, offers the perfect summation of the GYBE! aesthetic, as the chilling voice of a preacher emerges from a maudlin sea of violin and cello announcing, "When you see the face of God, you will die, and there will be nothing left of you except the God-man, the God-woman ... the heavenly child." The effect is riveting. Further buildup is gradual, soothing strings melding with minor-key guitar plucking, and a beast of a guitar possessed by an array of otherworldly purrs and wails. A marching rhythm spurs on the ever-intensifying monolithic wall of sound to new heights, the tempo increasing at a demonic pace until the gates of heaven are seemingly rent asunder. Utilizing these primal forces and more, GYBE! has composed a shifty epic manifesto that will not be soon forgotten.