Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra


For the Island of Montreal! Listen to a child’s voice, set the tone. Four years after Kollaps Tradixionales, Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra releases their eighth long-awaited release with Constellation Records, Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything.

Fuck Off Get Free revs up with some good ol’ charged rhythmic groundwork. The steady movements are simple in their honesty, edgy, rough and high with the kind of creative madness only wrought from 13 years of solid continuity from core band members Thierry Amar (contrabass), Sophie Trudeau (violin), Efrim Menuck (piano), Jessica Moss (violin) and David Payant (drums) – 15 in total from the initial three. And their sound, more unified than ever, hones their genre-defying music in three acts. First, Fuck Off; second, Get Free; third, Pour Light on Everything!

Vocal harmonies mix and flash above the cacophonous parade of the lead track, “Fuck Off Get Free,” before “Austerity Blues” softens the round with the mounting strum of guitar. It’s soon transformed by elastic ambience, the electronic breathing of string effects, bowed and plucked, that layer and texture over the insuperable crest of freedom in the pure and innocent light of this vastly aerating music.

Entrancing, the second track calms with syncopated arrangements in sophisticated grandeur not normally envisioned in the punk rocker’s noisemaking and vein-rushing ecstasy of their own unlit and flooded garage roots. Frequencies such as those heard on this blindingly gorgeous light of a record soothes one easy, though it embodies a specific type of no-holds-barred character. The harmonized gravity melts and merges into the unified viscera of experience by way of listening; this is one of the lost arts in today’s hyper-modern, on-the-go ‘pod, media-saturated existence.

Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra’s reinvigorated sound breaks clear of the trails run by such compatriots in sonic likelihood as Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Do Make Say Think, trespassing onto uncharted music with innocent bravura, unfiltered as the grinding cold under northern lights. This seasoned group’s musical lure still warms fans to freedom after well over a decade with a light poured indiscriminately through a sound both subtle and overwhelming in its powerful grasp.

Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light on Everything holds the listener in a grasp that seems, mystically, to free when close listening becomes close feeling. In this way, the band perfects its ability to close in on even devoted listeners with newfound intent, stunning and impressive. With unrivalled skill, they access the open spectrum of sound to lead those who might dream with eyes wide and see everything alit, as in dream from within.

“Take Away These Early Grave Blues” uplifts. The track starts up with a volatile, spiralling vocal reach that curls above a melodious atmosphere of hard-edged and seething guitar, bearing down with an electro-magnetism that orbits in a tight noose around the neck of the universe. Space, infiltrated by the moving earth of lyrical motion, coils and sparks as from a human brain gripped with mortal fear. At listening, one can almost hear the meaning of the sound: Get Free!

Triumphant rock breaks crash and fume with an ambient haze locked against the backdrop of a flitting near-explosion of wild commotion. The heaving bursts find earth under the launching fire of a rooted, war-cry beat. Then, as the stars lower over the sighting of a child’s own eye, the freedom of innocence and longing finds footing in the aftermath of a crash landing.

Survived by creation, now fucked off, gotten free, there’s only one more step home, and it’s quickened in the enchanting lilt of a song called “Little One Runs.” We, living of sound, personified of beauty, strengthen the seed that filled the once-cold ground and warms the hand that pressed firmly against the soil with a song of the future. Doubt, and fear emerge together yet again, albeit to the hopeful tune of “What We Loved Was Not Enough”, which brings the frightful to their knees at the tombs of love, light and Everything.

By Matt Hanson

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