I might take it on the chin for this one, if my spouse’s reaction to Godspeed You! Black Emperor is anything to judge by. Ms. Jade is very vocal in her dislike of this Montreal collective. You know how some people turn green and can’t even be in the same room as tequila after having gotten sick on it? It’s that kind of reaction. And that makes me scratch my head.
So, I don’t know where RTH-ers are gonna stand on 20-minute long instrumentals of epic guitar glory, seasick violins, hypnotic bagpipe drones, stately drumming, insurrectionist soundbites and the loose-tight-loose woven compositions from the enigmatic and inscrutable GYBE. The time is right, however, since they’ve just released new material.
I say they’re sublime. Taking that odd name from a 70’s Japanese biker documentary, and subsisting on a word-of-mouth congregation, they play live with all the aplomb of a professional chamber group, while grimy and arcane film clips collage the stage. Talk about a zoned-out audience!
The sound is demanding, and also ambient. Difficult to unwrap, hard to find lucidity. Godspeed excels in symphonic movements that gather clouds and bloom, inviting periods of private focus and daze, are best for beatitude and elation.
Where do you stand? Rapturous or Overwrought?