When Jason, a member of our crew that just so happened to be voted “best boyfriend” by our staff, asked me if I had heard of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, my response was, “huh?” followed by a, “who?” and paired with an extremely confused look on my face. He repeated again, and I followed with an even more confused response, thus I moved in to normal conversation distance to further inquire.
After his description I asked if he would so kindly write this band down so I could do some personal research and listening. As Wikipedia describes them, Godspeed You! Black Emperor (formerly punctuated: Godspeed You Black Emperor! or GYBE or GY!BE) is a Canadian post-rock band originating from Montreal in the mid 1990’s.
With some more research, other sites craftily describe them as an “anarcho-punk post-rock orchestra.” Without even hearing them, they sound pretty cool.
The reason Jason brought them up to me was because after nearly a 10-year hiatus, the band has not only been playing shows for almost a year now, but have just announced that they will be releasing their first album since 2002’s Yanqui U.X.O., entitled Alleluja! Don’t Bend! Ascend! (pictured below).
The new album, which is just 4 tracks long, will hold two of the bands nearly 20-minute instrumentals, Maladic and We Drift Like Worried Fire. So, for all the fans of GY!BE, you probably already know about this. For those like me who don’t, the band’s live performances have been said to “straight-up break your brain.” I’m not so sure about that, but we’ll give them a try.
For starters, here’s a quote from the band’s label, Constellation Records: “Having emerged from hiatus at the end of 2010, GYBE picked up right where they left off, immediately re-capturing the sound and material that had fallen dormant in 2003 and driving it forward with every show of their extensive touring over the last 18 months. The new album presents the fruits of that labour: evolved and definitive versions of two huge compositions previously known to fans as “Albanian” and “Gamelan”, now properly titled as “MLADIC” and “WE DRIFT LIKE WORRIED FIRE” respectively. Accompanied by the new drones (stitched into the album sequence on CD; cut separately on their own 7″ for the LP version), GYBE have offered up a fifth album that we feel is as absolutely vital, virulent, honest and heavy as anything in their discography. ”
Listen to the track, “MOYA” [ download ]
You can pre-order Alleluja! Don’t Bend! Ascend! from Canada’s Constellation Records.