Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas...


5.0
classic

Review

by Adam Knott EMERITUS
July 13th, 2010 | 535 replies


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Structurally, musically and conceptually one of the most ambitious and incredible albums ever recorded.

In the next two minutes, I'm basically going to try and convince you that what you're reading right now is an absolute waste of time. Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven is eighty-seven minutes and twenty-one seconds long, comprises two compact discs, four tracks and nineteen varying movements. I've got three or four paragraphs to convey why a pretentious, elaborate, self-indulgent hour and a half of music merits the 5 with which it's been adorned so frequently. See my point yet?

My normal Plan B, then, would be to tell you how Godspeed You! Black Emperor make me feel. Unfortunately, this is impossible, not because the emotions are too subtle or impossible to underline, but because I'm not good enough. So much of the music that we hold dear stands side by side with us, as our peer, joining hands or marrying voices or calling to arms, but for all the inspiring qualities of Lift Your Skinny Fists it is never once a viable possibility that the minds behind the composition of its schizophrenic and soaring peaks and troughs are Just Guys That Went To Your School. Godspeed You! Black Emperor are better than you and me; they can do things you and I aren't capable of, and they can do them despite, and because of, their pretentious, elaborate self-indulgence.

Because Static is half just that - static - and because the voice samples aren't audible. Because 90 minutes is a preposterous length of time to demand a listener's attention for, and because the band don't pretend to make even those ninety minutes a smooth journey. But in spite of and due to all of these obstacles, Lift Your Skinny Fists is worth it, so worth it, like running a steeplechase and winning by half a metre. Every ounce of energy you invest into this record comes back in the breathtaking cello/viola/guitar/cymbal/bass crescendos peppered throughout. The slow builds, the lulls in momentum, the deliberate roadblocks are all placed and designed and executed with such precise genius that they dissolve into part of the climax as it's happening, and the explosions of majestic awe feel so vital, so important because of them.

Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven is the sort of record which doesn't have hooks because the very idea of listening to a minute of the last dramatic surge is blasphemous and because everything relies on everything before it and everything after it in order to work. Many people have claimed that Godspeed's shorter and more digestable EP Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada is more concise and therefore better, but the two records are simply different; Lift Your Skinny Fists is the work of a group of incredible musicians and artists, unrestrained, unleashed and totally off the rails. In the hands of a band less than sublime it would be a veritable train wreck, but in the possession of Godspeed You! Black Emperor it is simply life-changing. Set aside some uninterrupted time and all of your pre-conceptions, ignore everything I just wrote and listen to this album right from the start right to the finish. You'll know what I've been trying to say.



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user ratings (2702)
Chart.
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Knott-
Emeritus
July 13th 2010


10198 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Working my way through my 5s while releases are slow. Wrote this a while back and thought it was a good idea to publish it up here.

Slum
July 13th 2010


2579 Comments


Good job, you always have interesting reviews

PurpleDrank
July 13th 2010


417 Comments


i like this and your kid a review, unique stuff

Knott-
Emeritus
July 13th 2010


10198 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

thanks a lot guys, for the rapid pos's and the comments

Emim
July 13th 2010


26675 Comments


Good review, boring album.

Knott-
Emeritus
July 13th 2010


10198 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Haha, did it honestly not convince you to give it another spin?

Album needs so much effort but man does it pay out.

scissorlocked
July 13th 2010


3511 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Your review is splendid,showing respect to an album that has been barraged with a storm of multiple pseudophilologic accusations.

plain,simple and straight to the point

pos'd

Digging: Low Roar - Low Roar

Emim
July 14th 2010


26675 Comments


Haha, did it honestly not convince you to give it another spin?

Album needs so much effort but man does it pay out.


I gave it a try. Maybe I'll get it someday, maybe not.

PurpleDrank
July 14th 2010


417 Comments


fa and this both 5s

Zizzer
July 14th 2010


915 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I probably would have checked this out a lot earlier if I didn't think the band name and album names were kind of silly. I'll get to it eventually.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
July 14th 2010


16911 Comments


one of the best reviews ive read in a while. pos'd

Digging: Low Roar - 0

JulesWin
July 14th 2010


993 Comments


Album needs so much effort but man does it pay out.

I just don't have the attention span. I know I'll get killed for this comment but I don't believe that music should require "effort" for you to like it

Knott-
Emeritus
July 14th 2010


10198 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

That's fair enough. I respectfully disagree, but if that's your opinion, I doubt this record is for you. All I'd say is you're missing out, which sucks.

eternium
July 14th 2010


16340 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

He's going to be missing out on a ton of good bands.

Emim
July 14th 2010


26675 Comments


Album needs so much effort but man does it pay out.


That's the problem I have with a lot of the "sputnik albums". It seems like people's emotions (or "effort" in this case) are used to gloss over the album and make it better than it is.

I personally don't think it should take anything more than listening with an open mind .

crazyblinddude
July 14th 2010


3389 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

sweet review. trying to do a traditional review for this album just doesn't quite cut it.

eternium
July 14th 2010


16340 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

You have to give it time to grow, Emim.
Godspeed was kind of boring at first, but once I actually put in the effort to get through entire songs and albums, I fell in love.

Emim
July 14th 2010


26675 Comments


I gave it time. Too much time. It worked great as background music, but I wasn't really listening to it then.

Bitchfork
July 14th 2010


7584 Comments


lolwutlolno

PanasonicYouth
July 14th 2010


7412 Comments


tbh slow riot is so much better than this



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