Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven

Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven

4.3 6
by Godspeed You! Black Emperor
     
 

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Montreal's Godspeed You Black Emperor! have parlayed a media-avoidance strategy into an underground phenomenon more successfully than any band in recent memory. The nine-piece collective's basic components remain largely unchanged from their two earlier releases, but on Lift Your Skinny Fists, their minimalist drones more frequently coalesce into bombasticSee more details below

Overview

Montreal's Godspeed You Black Emperor! have parlayed a media-avoidance strategy into an underground phenomenon more successfully than any band in recent memory. The nine-piece collective's basic components remain largely unchanged from their two earlier releases, but on Lift Your Skinny Fists, their minimalist drones more frequently coalesce into bombastic crescendos. The string section at the music's core could pass for contemporary classical, if not for the lonesome ringing guitars, occasional bursts of rock drumming, ambient trance soundscapes, and superimposed field recordings of street preachers and other rants. This 87-minute, two-CD set includes just four tracks, each comprised of discrete movements that ebb and flow in intensity with more than a passing nod to '70s art rock. The highlight composition "Sleep" delivers everything that makes GYBE! special: Serene passages of mournful beauty gradually build to an urgent squall of eerie slide guitar and howling feedback that recalls Sonic Youth at its most grandiose. Lift Your Skinny Fists is a remarkable hybrid of sounds that will appeal to most corners of outsider music.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Joslyn Layne
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.
Spin Magazine - Mike Rubin
Brooding, funereal, even apocalyptic, the band's orchestral maneuvers in the dark rise to remarkable heights of melancholic beauty, all while standing on the dirge of getting it on.

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Product Details

Release Date:
11/07/2000
Label:
Kranky
UPC:
0796441804320
catalogNumber:
43
Rank:
18671

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