Thursday, December 31, 2009

Despite my cynicism here towards the endless reviews of the 'noughties' that have abounded this month, as the decade draws close I've contributed my own nomination in Pennyblackmusic's albums of the decade list by writers (scroll down to see my nomination, Godspeed You! Black Emperor's Lift Yr Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven, album cover above).
That album for me has remained the real soundtrack to a decade undoubtedly defined by 9/11 and everything that followed as a result, far more than the empty posturings of many of the skinny jeans brigade and their fashion spreads. Listening to that incredible album now, nearly ten years after its release, it's as if GB!YE somehow knew in advance just what a turbulent and tense decade the noughties would be, with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the anti-capitalist/IMF demonstrations, impending fear of global warming, Al-Qaeda, etc. But with it's dystopian ghostly urban noises and dread-filled samples of preachers/disaffected down-and-outs filling up the spaces inbetween the band at full throttle, what's also interesting is how, in places, the album can even sound like much inspiring electronica, from Burial (something I expanded briefly on in this thread) to Amon Tobin to Fennesz.
Indeed, this is what have always made Godspeed stand out among the likes of Explosions In The Sky and - a horrible label - many other 'post-rock' acts, who started off sounding exciting (listen to EITS' first album) but who, with their latest material, have sounded like they are beginning to regurgitate what is essentially the same predictable dynamics (this doesn't include the likes of Cul de Sac, I might add, who never followed the quiet-LOUD-quiet pattern as many of these bands have). GB!YE - along with other related luminaries of the Montreal post-rock scene such as Set Fire To Flames, Hrsta, Esmerine etc. - have been constantly innovative and unique.

I'll skip books, films, etc. and present just one other nomination - for the category of Musical Villain Of The Decade award...and there can only be one man. And no, it's not Simon Cowell.

Happy NYE, and here's to a new decade.

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