Review Summary: For the first time, in arguably ever, Thee Silver Mount Zion have fully realized the vision they've been striving for. "Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything" is a triumph.
Thee Silver Mount Zion have always approached their music with a very “punk rock” ethos, something that becomes readily apparent within the opening moments of their latest album, Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything
. Any semblance of lingering post-rock aesthetics have all but disappeared, and really, they were hardly present to begin with. While typically utilizing a heavily instrumental sound, TSMZ have traditionally relied on a haphazard and rough feeling throughout their music. Lush stings and waning guitars would make way for harsh diatribes and cacophonous bouts of dismantling instruments. This reflects the band’s idea of their niche, bucking the tag of “post-rock” whilst wholly accepting damn near every other descriptor. With Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything
, Thee Silver Mount Zion have come into their own, offering up the most fully realized work in their long and perplexing discography.
Not but a minute into "Fuck Off Get Free (For The Island Of Montreal” are we introduced to the wailing of Efrum Menuck and the refined intensity of the rest of the band. The track features a lot of the bold sounds heard on the rest of the album, and is in a sense everything that embodies the band’s seventh full length. However, it moves with an undeniable purpose -- charging headlong with a palpable intensity, rarely losing composure. Ending much more mildly than it entered, the song is one of the more straightforward pieces the band has ever concocted, and it’s all the more captivating for it. “Austerity Blues” on the other hand, is another beast entirely. With the skeleton of a post-rock tune (build, climax, etc) the 14 minute behemoth is anything but ordinary. Keeping the same punk ethos as the preceding song, it ebbs and flows with a much less contained energy, making the perfect melding of TSMZ’s past and present. At its climax Efrum is lost amongst the swirling strings and cacophonous percussion, all the while still remaining unfailingly intense. The lengthy resolution that follows is sobering and beautiful, as the band ever so subtly picks up the pieces that were lovingly dismantled.
If Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything
has one major failing, it is that the rest of the album is distractingly disproportionate. Starting things off with a bang, the band really went for broke and the final three songs have a hard time matching the explosive energy. Capping off the first half of the record is “Take Away These Early Grave Blues” which is by far the most musically demanding piece of all. It lacks the constricting structure of the first two songs, while cranking the energy up quite a bit. It’s wonderful to hear the band let loose, especially when “Little Ones Run” follows up with an achingly beautiful (almost lullaby-like) song. The showcase of the record, however, comes in the form of “What We Loved Was Not Enough,” featuring an anthem-like finale that borders on infectious. It’s a lengthy and haunting exercise that ends somewhat tragically. Strained and pleading vocals soar over a solemn chorus crooning the final dying words “And the day’s come when we no longer feel.” Few moments in music feel as stunningly perfect.
Despite the superfluous hyperbole, Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything
is Thee Silver Mount Zion’s magnum opus. With each release the band has always been just out of reach of achieving their vision; almost always falling just a tad short of some sense of greatness. Yet here we have something profound, something brave and challenging that has exceeded every single piece within TSMZ’s 14 year career. Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything
is a massive, emotive, and intense experience that demands to be heard.