Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Album Review - A Silver Mt. Zion & Tra La La Band

A Silver Mt. Zion & Tra La La Band - 13 Blues for Thirteen Moons
[Constellation Records; 25/03/2008]

Following on from the post-rock cannon that were Godspeed You! Black Emperor, ‘spokesperson’ of the band, Efrim Menuck carries on producing records for others and churning out more wicked soundscapes with A Silver Mt. Zion & Tra La La La Band. This time the band return with their fifth album, 13 Blues for Thirteen Moons.

Although different to their previous works, 13 Blues… is just as haunting as anything the band has created. This time, however, the driving force is Menuck’s vocal ranges, as apposed to the lengthy instrumentation build-ups and variations of tempo that the band has always been at the helm of manufacturing.

The evidence lies within the title track, with Menuck bellowing “the hangman’s got a hard on” around the firmly executed instrument bending notions we’ve always come to expect from the band. Various other lyrical confrontations Menuck explores are bound to raise a few eye-brows, but equally work a charm.

Previously, Menuck’s vocals were disjointed and somewhat swollen within the music the band orchestrates. This is certainly to the contrary with 13 Blues for Thirteen Moons, with the band bridging a confident medium within the serrated vocal style employed by Menuck, and the epic music ‘Zion extrude. If ever you could deem this band’s music as ‘accessible’, then this is the album could fit the bill as good as any other in the band’s catalogue.

By Simon K

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