Efrim Manuel Menuck
Pissing Stars


3.9
excellent

Review

by Aaron W. STAFF
February 4th, 2018 | 59 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Beauty meets abuse.

As I listen to Efrim Menuck’s latest, Pissing Stars, I’m left in astonishment. For all the trappings Godspeed You! Black Emperor had engaged in ever since Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress came out to a fanbase grown weary of the patience-trying direction the collective had opted to take, I find Menuck’s work on the other hand to be the exact opposite of a typical Godspeed album and more immediate in its attempt to convey its message to its audience. It’s not about Godspeed and it never was about Godspeed; Pissing Stars – embarrassing title aside – does its best to note this, despite the inevitability that there will be comparisons made between the band’s more recent works with Menuck’s newest work. Both sides incorporate the usage of droning instrumental passages, dissonant soundscapes, and both are composed with a heavily political slant that, for better or worse, borders on the refined edge of pretension.

What does this all mean for Pissing Stars though" The politics of Godspeed, and Menuck by extension, are one and the same; Pissing Stars is no different, although its origins may be different from other albums Menuck has been involved in to date. The press release (more an anecdote, if anything) depicts a teenaged Menuck reading of the brief romance between the television personality Mary Hart and Mohammed Khashoggi, the son of the Saudi Arabian arms dealer Adnan. “The televisual blonde and the rich Saudi kid with the murderous father,” as Menuck put it, remained an object of obscured interest throughout several decades, finally being excised for all to see on Pissing Stars. The songs are, like Hart and Khashoggi’s union, strange and vulgar; they’re ugly, morbid, and not quite destructive but don't offer hope to those looking for it.

A song like “The State and Its Love and Genocide” isn’t exactly sunny fare, for a matter of fact, it’s hideous. Wave upon wave of pulsating drones dominated by croaked murmurs and chirping electronics set up only the ugliest of outlooks such as the one Menuck gives us, and by proxy, Hart and Khashoggi; the instrumental “Hart_Khashoggi” is a mood piece, distorted guitars and soothing synthesizers joining together to create a soundscape that is all the more disturbing when taking the origins of Pissing Stars into account. “A Lamb in the Land of Payday Loans” is outstanding in its normality, driven by the cheapest sounding vintage drum machine in the nearest vicinity; and with its kitsch, a faint ray of light in a realm of boundless darkness before the likes of “LxOxVx/Shelter in Place” snuff it out for good to make way for a heavier serving of Menuck’s trademark gloom-and-doom dystopian tragedies.

As time goes on and each listen takes me further into the hideous sounds created all for the sake of narrating an equally atrocious joining of persons some thirty-plus years ago, everything is, believe it or not, in its right place on a hopeless record like Pissing Stars. Efrim Menuck was once fascinated by this tale of two very different people finding love as a drugged-up teenager living in a basement somewhere in Montreal; and in the present day, through a record like this, I feel a lingering sense of intrigue in that whirlwind romance that was ultimately doomed as it began. It’s a romance that ultimately has become a footnote in the lives of those who lived it and bore witness to it; when Menuck sings about it, it’s not beautiful at all to think of nor would you expect it to be. And with a relationship that was reduced to tabloid fodder, Pissing Stars crafts it into something far beyond revolting and into a monolithic beast of despair. There is no hope in the words Menuck sings, only pain.




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user ratings (49)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
February 4th 2018


17667 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

this is good i hope you like it



LxOxVx/Shelter in Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WH6LD9aZ0IM

A Lamb in the Land of Payday Loans: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKnFtgaMfmk

Digging: Animal Collective - Tangerine Reef

Dewinged
February 4th 2018


10855 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

So it grew on u a little, Frip.



I haven't delved much into it, and I am sure it's all about that.

Digging: Tomberlin - At Weddings

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
February 4th 2018


17667 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

constant listening at 3 am in a hot room makes for a fun time, figured "why not?" and wrote away

SowingSeason
Moderator
February 4th 2018


27528 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3 | Sound Off

Great review Fripp. I found the cover for this oddly interesting, and that before I even realized that this had ties to GY!BE. Now I definitely have to hear it.

Digging: mewithoutYou - (Untitled) E.P.

Papa Universe
February 4th 2018


16639 Comments


The cover is the most Menuck thing I've seen.

Digging: VRCVS - VRCVS

Papa Universe
February 4th 2018


16639 Comments


Also, it's a shame I can't say
POSsing stars

Eons
February 4th 2018


1766 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

the first song is downright unsettling. Especially when his kids vocals come in later in the song. The beginning has this odd breathing sound and I'm not sure how he made it. It kind of sounds like a huge beast dying or something. Also it's his kid on the cover, as well.

Eons
February 4th 2018


1766 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Also Efrim's Instagram is pretty strange. He posts a lot of random, weird, nonsensical shit on there.

ramon.
Contributing Reviewer
February 4th 2018


2396 Comments


Man that art is fucking awesome. Sweet review man, got a good feel for the sound just off the descriptions. Could probably use a few more full stops though; felt like every sentence was a para long. Keen to try this out!

Astral Abortis
February 4th 2018


6736 Comments


What is it with this guy and putting fingers over the lens?

someguest
February 4th 2018


29861 Comments


anarchist photo technique

Taxt
February 4th 2018


1157 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review, I'm digging this. The first song especially is great.

zaruyache
February 4th 2018


19364 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Thought this was OK.

Digging: Neckbeard Deathcamp - White Nationalism is for Basement Dwelling Losers

calmrose
February 4th 2018


3531 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

really digging this

Digging: Every Time I Die - Low Teens

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
February 4th 2018


17667 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

This is very much a "take it or leave it" kind of record, much like Scott Walker and Sunn O)))'s Soused. Both evoke the same type of grim mood as well.

Skoop
February 4th 2018


2025 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Didn't really expect much but this is quite enjoyable

hansoloshotfirst
February 4th 2018


1028 Comments


didn't expect much but surprisingly, I'm really digging this so far.

Digging: Manilla Road - Gates of Fire

chug73
February 4th 2018


3558 Comments


This is some top-tier, hipster-approved drone, I can't help but enjoy it

Gyromania
February 4th 2018


25510 Comments


STAFF!

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
February 4th 2018


17667 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

it be dunn!



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