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Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven

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Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven

12" LP

Availability: In stock


Quick Overview

Canada's Godspeed You Black Emperor raise the ante on their already ambitious orchestral rock by releasing a double CD of material as their second full-length album. The group combines the drums and guitar of typical rock-band instrumentation with horns and strings to create a music built around drones and slowly evolving melodic figures. It rises and falls from delicate introductory passages to unabashed grand climaxes. Their juxtaposition of drums with violins and lush romantic tonality brings to mind Rachel's, but their compositional scale and the pounding repetitive intensity of their dynamic peaks evoke Glenn Branca's The Ascension. Although the two discs are indexed at only two 21-minute tracks each, the package includes a handy road map to the movements into which each is subdivided. The opening piece starts with five minutes of a 15-beat circular melodic pattern that is gradually embellished as the volume swells to an ecstatic roar. The release drops down to a pastoral drone that rebuilds to support an acid-etched guitar solo, which in turn yields to a unified 4/4 kraut rock pound that eventually explodes, leaving behind field recordings of public announcements mingled with wandering late-night Swell Maps piano. The other pieces use a similar set of sonic building blocks to take the listener on comparable journeys. Fans of Godspeed's previous work will be very happy, and the curious might want to hop on board as well.


Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven, the much-anticipated follow-up to Godspeed You! Black Emperor's Slow Riot, is a double-disc achievement of four works (each with multiple parts): "Storm," "Static," "Sleep," and "Antennas to Heaven." It is a windfall for any fan of ambient pop, orchestral rock, space rock, or simply lush string arrangements who understands how powerful love, melancholy, and frustration can be. The main complaint voiced by critics of Godspeed's music is that their works just repeat the same pattern: start out sparse and slow, build-build-build, crescendo. While there are certainly crescendos, there is no such predictable pattern repeated among the works on Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven -- it's loaded with dynamics, unexpected sections, strong emotions and beauty. The album opener, "Storm," is a leap for GY!BE that, alone, makes this release worth getting. It's a rapturous work that rises with a potent melancholy, driven by heartrending emotions. "Storm" vents a powerful frustration (each listener can insert their own reasons why) with majestic screams of strings, guitars, and layers, resulting in a climactic and passionate soaring. It eventually winds down into an exhausted aftermath of piano, underlying drones, and frustrated rants. The second piece, "Static," is a wandering, isolationist piece of bleak expanses shaded with darker emotions, but the remaining two works raise the album back up to the impressive standard set by the opening cut, though with less furor and even more loveliness. "Sleep" opens with an elderly gentleman reminiscing about Coney Island, and his frank and amusing narration briefly recalls the recordings of David Greenberger and scenes from the documentary "Vernon, FL". This narration is followed by a slow and melodic piece featuring a pseudo-theremin effect amidst all of the other instrumentation. "Antennas to Heaven" opens with someone playing acoustic guitar, singing "What'll We Do with the Baby-O," soon washed over with sound, which then gives way to a brief chorus of glockenspiels, and on. During most of Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven, musical and emotional opposites alternate as regularly, and naturally, as breathing: delicate string work and rock-out guitar and drums, spoken word and walls of sound, gracious and possessed, tip-toes and cliff-diving, dark hallways and blinding sunshine.

Additional Information

Artist Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Track Listing - Disc 1 - 1 Storm: Levez Vos Skinny Fists Comme Antennas to Heaven; Gathering ... - 22:32 2 Static: Terrible Canyons of Static; Chart #3; World Police and ... - 22:35 - Disc 2 - 1 Sleep: Murray Ostril (They Don't Sleep Anymore on the Beach); Monheim; - 23:17 2 Antennas to Heaven: Moya Sings Baby-O; Edgy Swingset Acid; She ... - 18:57

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