Review Summary: Although short by GY!BE standards only clocking in at 28 minutes, this remains their most accessible output and arguably their most beautiful.
It is hard to imagine a society that does not question humanity and where we have came from nor a perfect, flawless, Utopian society. In fact, most human beings come across the thought of apocalypse at least once in their lifetime, especially due to incidents like Y2K and now the ever prevalent topic of 2012. Most of us have a different take on the end of the world. Some people think it would be a spontaneous event and mutually some perceive the end of the world as a slow, gradual process. Some even argue we are slowly approaching the death of humanity through gradual climate change. In the summer of 1997, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, a group of musicians from Montreal, illustrated their vision of apocalypse through an album composed of three movements of music. All of the pieces of music were void of any lyrics yet featured samples which helped built and solidify the band's signature sound and also, let the listener make their own conclusions on their take of the end of the world. 2 years later, Godspeed You! Black Emperor conceived Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada.
This EP only clocks in at 28 minutes which is less than the length of one song featured on F#A#∞. This work of art is seen by many GY!BE fans as a transition of the shift of sounds between F#A#∞ and Lift Your Skinny Fists. The instrumentation is just as good as their former work and actually seems more consistent as there are less gaps of silence between movements. Many see these moments of complete silence and ambiance as rising action to their signature climaxes but this EP brings more consistent instrumentation and song writing to fill those gaps with more interesting parts for the listener. In result, this makes the EP more accessible to someone who isn't used to longer songs or a good starting point for someone who is interested in giving Godspeed You! Black Emperor a listen yet doesn't have the time to dedicate to a full listen of the band's LPs.
Sonically, this record still keeps a darker theme like its former. It starts with Godspeed's signature strings and continues to grow in intensity and speed. Moya is the perfect song for someone who never heard of the band nor their previous work. Moya serves as the perfect introduction and remains one of the most astounding works to this day. Blaise Bailey Finnegan III is a much darker and suspenseful piece of music. It starts with a sample of a man talking about the corruption within the American Government and transcends into a story that takes place in court concerning a speeding ticket. What really stands out is the fact that as the man gets louder the strings in the background get more intense until the point of a spontaneous stop. The song uses this stop to keep the listener on the edge of their seat as the song builds back up slowly into a great climax. After this climatic moment the song gets soft again as the man is introduced again. This time around he recites a poem which builds suspense again which builds into another climax which lasts a few minutes yet this time it is more upbeat and powerful. This climax is one of the best from the bands catalog. The song ends on a softer not with a very ethereal sounding string part. This song remains my favorite Godspeed You! Black Emperor songs and one of all time favorites.
Although this is an EP, this stands out as one of the bands most memorable and consistent efforts. Both songs are amazing and flow together perfectly. I recommend this to any serious music fan as it will easily become one of your favorites.