GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR - F# A# Infinity (Vinyl Version) ALBUM REVIEW

“Nervous, Sad, Poor…”


0:00
The Drone:
What seems to be a bass loop of general low frequency noise sets the dark tone
0:??
The Poem:
This is one of my favorite poems / soliloquies of all time
It Went Like This:
The arranged strings provide a continued melancholy. As it finishes, it transitions into the distant and reverb soaked guitar, which sounds like a distant but approaching train. These move into the pretty and continuous melancholy melody as in the strings but on guitar with droning strings and mallet percussed toms in the background.
5:55
The End of the poem
6:11
The train sample solidifies the setting and theme of the album as a passing train.
Then the guitar comes in with some sort of slide
everything is melting
the steel tracks and the trains on them and for a moment in pause we hear a return of the main melody (Melancholy). It actually becomes frightenly melted and descending until they reach their dynamic peak.
9:39
The bass comes in to show the new melody, where they incorporate the melting guitars into a more standard musical section
10:16
The guitar solo
Steel, it seems
country, languid, and beautiful
after a while the piano and drones come in.
11:40
The second guitar leads
It is beautiful
??:??
like a rush of wind rising to dephining volumes. Painful to hear, beautiful in retrospect.
17:20
The beautiful jaunty finish reminds me of the theme to the third man.
Joyful and joyless. Country, and Jam, but with melancholy.
19:16
This seems like one day, during recording, one of the members were screwing around. And another member heard the melodic beauty and had the mind to press record. He then overdubbed with a delay/reverb soaked banjo on top of it.

“What’s my motivation?”


“Bleak, Uncertain, Beautiful…”


??:??
The ravings of a street man, the trains, the cars, and bagpipes set the mood for this coming apocalypse.
1:45
The guitar drones in, screwdriver in hand. The ominous bagpipes pull out of the mix. Then the instantly recognizable melody comes in
minor, catchy, memorable, bleak, uncertain, beautiful, poor.
The band begins to show their true size when they start to jam out on this melody.
4:50
Breaking into the forefront of the sonic landscape great ominous strings with the drums slowly chug out and away.
??:??
The guitars have another beautiful duet
the cymbals a little,
but intensity increases
7:18
they fall out into ambient mass
7:35
The tremallo-ed vocals and chorus or whatever the effects are on it. Haunting and terrifying. 

Amazing grace?
8:40
Another instantly recognizable melody. A march, a funeral dirge, with a purpose, a goal, a train approaching a destination of great importance.
10:28
Something epic’s gonna happen isn’t it?
10:55
Yup
BPM increases
distortion shows its face
Violins churn away
11:56
Drum rhythm changes
fun to play, I’d expect
??:??
This band is so cool
I love it when they really flex their musical muscles
12:39
OMG yes
the guitar triumphantly roars
while the band calls out in a united roar
13:00
The soundscape here is absolutely terrifying
                                                            “Where Are You Going?”
14:10
More ambient sounds, the sources of which I can only hope to one day know… the source of beautiful synth melody may never be known.
15:10
Another high point. 
Reminds me of “Music For 18 Musicians” by Steve Reich
in its pulsivity.
16:00
Destruction
of the signal into undulating mess
Influence on Burial?
Digitally skipping about
A slowed down horn sample?
17:17
Some dark noise is this
it haunts me
almost a human voice underneath a blanket of effects ineffectively, languidly crying out to into the world?
17:33
The horrifying loop
This is an “infinity groove” at the end of the record.
The wheels rotate adnauseum 
the sound reverberates back on the tracks from the train
already passed by a solitary observer, sitting still, just wondering where it might be going.

Would recommend. 
Absolutely essential to fans of Experimental music, Experimental classical, Post Rock, and Ambient Music.

GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR - F# A# Infinity (Vinyl Version) ALBUM REVIEW

“Nervous, Sad, Poor…”


0:00

The Drone:

What seems to be a bass loop of general low frequency noise sets the dark tone

0:??

The Poem:

This is one of my favorite poems / soliloquies of all time

It Went Like This:

The arranged strings provide a continued melancholy. As it finishes, it transitions into the distant and reverb soaked guitar, which sounds like a distant but approaching train. These move into the pretty and continuous melancholy melody as in the strings but on guitar with droning strings and mallet percussed toms in the background.

5:55

The End of the poem

6:11

The train sample solidifies the setting and theme of the album as a passing train.

Then the guitar comes in with some sort of slide

everything is melting

the steel tracks and the trains on them and for a moment in pause we hear a return of the main melody (Melancholy). It actually becomes frightenly melted and descending until they reach their dynamic peak.

9:39

The bass comes in to show the new melody, where they incorporate the melting guitars into a more standard musical section

10:16

The guitar solo

Steel, it seems

country, languid, and beautiful

after a while the piano and drones come in.

11:40

The second guitar leads

It is beautiful

??:??

like a rush of wind rising to dephining volumes. Painful to hear, beautiful in retrospect.

17:20

The beautiful jaunty finish reminds me of the theme to the third man.

Joyful and joyless. Country, and Jam, but with melancholy.

19:16

This seems like one day, during recording, one of the members were screwing around. And another member heard the melodic beauty and had the mind to press record. He then overdubbed with a delay/reverb soaked banjo on top of it.


“What’s my motivation?”


“Bleak, Uncertain, Beautiful…”


??:??

The ravings of a street man, the trains, the cars, and bagpipes set the mood for this coming apocalypse.

1:45

The guitar drones in, screwdriver in hand. The ominous bagpipes pull out of the mix. Then the instantly recognizable melody comes in

minor, catchy, memorable, bleak, uncertain, beautiful, poor.

The band begins to show their true size when they start to jam out on this melody.

4:50

Breaking into the forefront of the sonic landscape great ominous strings with the drums slowly chug out and away.

??:??

The guitars have another beautiful duet

the cymbals a little,

but intensity increases

7:18

they fall out into ambient mass

7:35

The tremallo-ed vocals and chorus or whatever the effects are on it. Haunting and terrifying.


Amazing grace?

8:40

Another instantly recognizable melody. A march, a funeral dirge, with a purpose, a goal, a train approaching a destination of great importance.

10:28

Something epic’s gonna happen isn’t it?

10:55

Yup

BPM increases

distortion shows its face

Violins churn away

11:56

Drum rhythm changes

fun to play, I’d expect

??:??

This band is so cool

I love it when they really flex their musical muscles

12:39

OMG yes

the guitar triumphantly roars

while the band calls out in a united roar

13:00

The soundscape here is absolutely terrifying

                                                           “Where Are You Going?”

14:10

More ambient sounds, the sources of which I can only hope to one day know… the source of beautiful synth melody may never be known.

15:10

Another high point.

Reminds me of “Music For 18 Musicians” by Steve Reich

in its pulsivity.

16:00

Destruction

of the signal into undulating mess

Influence on Burial?

Digitally skipping about

A slowed down horn sample?

17:17

Some dark noise is this

it haunts me

almost a human voice underneath a blanket of effects ineffectively, languidly crying out to into the world?

17:33

The horrifying loop

This is an “infinity groove” at the end of the record.

The wheels rotate adnauseum

the sound reverberates back on the tracks from the train

already passed by a solitary observer, sitting still, just wondering where it might be going.

Would recommend. 

Absolutely essential to fans of Experimental music, Experimental classical, Post Rock, and Ambient Music.

ICE AGE - YOU’RE NOTHING
REVIEW
I can imagine the lead singer of this band screaming “I’m cold, hold me!” to the audience before convulsing through his yelled lyrics and broken guitar strap. All of the boys in this band seem to have somewhat of a deathwish attitude, not in self destruction, but in numbness. They are looking for a reason to feel alive. 

“Ecstasy” opens this album up with distorted feedback and fuzzy bass, followed by a slightly late snare drum roll, and finished off by a surprisingly tight vocal delivery. At first, “You’re Nothing” comes off as a regular, albeit slightly more angry, post punk group. This is of course until the first chorus breaks in. It feels like the entire world is crumbling under stress as every member of the band chugs on the same quarter notes, and the chilling voice screams over this cacophony “PRESSURE PREsSURE OH G-D NO PRESSURE”. This was the first Ice Age song I ever heard. I listened to it on repeat a great number of times during that first exposure. I just got it, I guess. It is the sound of my stress, and I love it for that. This is one of my favorite tracks on the album.

As for the production of this album: it’s about as top notch as it can be for a band like this, the guitar amps feel like the cones are fraying, and the drums feel like they are held together by duct tape. But I tend to like the sound better that way, less treble in the heads always adds a more caveman-like sound to the drum kit. Every sound on this album is how I want to sound. The bass has just the right amount of fuzz with cut treble to be piercing through the mix without causing a high pitched headache. It’s how I want my bass to sound, serious. The vocals at time seem soaked in distortion on some tracks and inversely in delay or reverb. This is most prominent in “Morals”, where the lead singer seems like he is in the same abandoned cave that Ian Curtis once resided. 

“In Haze” at around the :55 mark, there is one of the few examples of syncopation on this album. I think this is one of the proofs to Ice Age’s actual musicianship.

The musicianship is quite odd on this album. They all seem to be proficient on their respective instruments, save for the lead singers voice which makes up for what it lacks in notes with sheer angst. The band is loose. Like, really loose. They are sloppy as crap, but intentionally so. And through it seem to retain their punk influences. The monotonous chanting of “Wounded Heart” seem to echo Black Flag’s “TV Party” but without the sarcastic bro attitude, and all the aggression and angst. I love the sloppyness. I think it matches the feeling of the album perfectly. Like a lead singer trying to mosh while yelling his head off. Not with fierceness but with apathy and reckless abandon.

I love the song structures on this album. They remind me of the kind of experiments Black Flag we’re doing on “My War” in song structure. They follow a simple format within themselves, and descend into chaos at a whim. They all seem to be on the same page with everything, so anything can happen anytime and they’ll be ready (like Hella).

“Awake” ~ 2:10 There is the sound of broken glass and a chain link fence. I immediately thought of the earliest example of this being used so prominently on an album. Slint’s 1989 album “Tweez” famously used the sound of broken bottles and bats rattling on chain link fences prominently in their breakdowns. The two bands share similar noisy post punk styles.

The closer and title track “You’re Nothing” is one hell of a way to end the album. It is unfortunately overshadowed on the first listen by “Awake”, the penultimate track. But over time, the ending’s epicness shows its face. The guitar seems to be soaked in enough fuzz and chorus to audition for My Bloody Valentine; it has a truly dizzying effect.  It is a short and straight to the point bonus-mosh track, and I love it.

“Morals” is the contender for my favorite track against “Ecstasy”. The funeral march seems to causes me to think of “The Stranger” by Camus. I think of the emotional detachment of the main character at the beginning of the book, wondering how to feel and how he should act in awkward situations. It is a funeral song for a lost friend, who apparently committed suicide. He searches for meaning in it, wishing he could ask why? And why didn’t his morals stop him. Then Ian Curtis seems to take over and he speaks of losing his own body in a lake. The rhythmic structure cuts back and forth seamlessly over this song. The last cry of “morals” on this track seems to break the vocal chords of the lead singer of this band. It is a cry of loss, desperation, and confusion. 

The Themes of this album seem to me to be of isolationism, depression, apathy, struggles with suicidal friends, and parental pains. I think we can all relate. Or maybe it’s just me, I don’t really care right now. I just know that this album speaks to me. It is today’s punk. Punk never dies, it just changes, don’t close your ears if it has an 808 or if it’s not Minor Threat or Burzum. For real man, what’s the point of hating on principal if it’s beautiful?

Every song seems to have a word or guitar riff that sticks with me, like a hook, but purer and less intentional. It sticks in my head, and I’m glad for it.
Would recommend.

ICE AGE - YOU’RE NOTHING

REVIEW

I can imagine the lead singer of this band screaming “I’m cold, hold me!” to the audience before convulsing through his yelled lyrics and broken guitar strap. All of the boys in this band seem to have somewhat of a deathwish attitude, not in self destruction, but in numbness. They are looking for a reason to feel alive.


“Ecstasy” opens this album up with distorted feedback and fuzzy bass, followed by a slightly late snare drum roll, and finished off by a surprisingly tight vocal delivery. At first, “You’re Nothing” comes off as a regular, albeit slightly more angry, post punk group. This is of course until the first chorus breaks in. It feels like the entire world is crumbling under stress as every member of the band chugs on the same quarter notes, and the chilling voice screams over this cacophony “PRESSURE PREsSURE OH G-D NO PRESSURE”. This was the first Ice Age song I ever heard. I listened to it on repeat a great number of times during that first exposure. I just got it, I guess. It is the sound of my stress, and I love it for that. This is one of my favorite tracks on the album.


As for the production of this album: it’s about as top notch as it can be for a band like this, the guitar amps feel like the cones are fraying, and the drums feel like they are held together by duct tape. But I tend to like the sound better that way, less treble in the heads always adds a more caveman-like sound to the drum kit. Every sound on this album is how I want to sound. The bass has just the right amount of fuzz with cut treble to be piercing through the mix without causing a high pitched headache. It’s how I want my bass to sound, serious. The vocals at time seem soaked in distortion on some tracks and inversely in delay or reverb. This is most prominent in “Morals”, where the lead singer seems like he is in the same abandoned cave that Ian Curtis once resided.


“In Haze” at around the :55 mark, there is one of the few examples of syncopation on this album. I think this is one of the proofs to Ice Age’s actual musicianship.


The musicianship is quite odd on this album. They all seem to be proficient on their respective instruments, save for the lead singers voice which makes up for what it lacks in notes with sheer angst. The band is loose. Like, really loose. They are sloppy as crap, but intentionally so. And through it seem to retain their punk influences. The monotonous chanting of “Wounded Heart” seem to echo Black Flag’s “TV Party” but without the sarcastic bro attitude, and all the aggression and angst. I love the sloppyness. I think it matches the feeling of the album perfectly. Like a lead singer trying to mosh while yelling his head off. Not with fierceness but with apathy and reckless abandon.


I love the song structures on this album. They remind me of the kind of experiments Black Flag we’re doing on “My War” in song structure. They follow a simple format within themselves, and descend into chaos at a whim. They all seem to be on the same page with everything, so anything can happen anytime and they’ll be ready (like Hella).


“Awake” ~ 2:10 There is the sound of broken glass and a chain link fence. I immediately thought of the earliest example of this being used so prominently on an album. Slint’s 1989 album “Tweez” famously used the sound of broken bottles and bats rattling on chain link fences prominently in their breakdowns. The two bands share similar noisy post punk styles.


The closer and title track “You’re Nothing” is one hell of a way to end the album. It is unfortunately overshadowed on the first listen by “Awake”, the penultimate track. But over time, the ending’s epicness shows its face. The guitar seems to be soaked in enough fuzz and chorus to audition for My Bloody Valentine; it has a truly dizzying effect.  It is a short and straight to the point bonus-mosh track, and I love it.


“Morals” is the contender for my favorite track against “Ecstasy”. The funeral march seems to causes me to think of “The Stranger” by Camus. I think of the emotional detachment of the main character at the beginning of the book, wondering how to feel and how he should act in awkward situations. It is a funeral song for a lost friend, who apparently committed suicide. He searches for meaning in it, wishing he could ask why? And why didn’t his morals stop him. Then Ian Curtis seems to take over and he speaks of losing his own body in a lake. The rhythmic structure cuts back and forth seamlessly over this song. The last cry of “morals” on this track seems to break the vocal chords of the lead singer of this band. It is a cry of loss, desperation, and confusion.


The Themes of this album seem to me to be of isolationism, depression, apathy, struggles with suicidal friends, and parental pains. I think we can all relate. Or maybe it’s just me, I don’t really care right now. I just know that this album speaks to me. It is today’s punk. Punk never dies, it just changes, don’t close your ears if it has an 808 or if it’s not Minor Threat or Burzum. For real man, what’s the point of hating on principal if it’s beautiful?


Every song seems to have a word or guitar riff that sticks with me, like a hook, but purer and less intentional. It sticks in my head, and I’m glad for it.


Would recommend.

BeatBeatBeat. For Dean, Jack, and Allan.

…but my wet hand only means that I’ve cleansed myself of the filth of my previous contents. I have shed my snakes skin and emerged a different man. And the beats they beat on the stage along with the beat of the drums, bass, and the hard boppin’ sax chirpin’’ hard beating the Hawaiian shirted hipsters and spitting on the train like the old men as they gaze upon pretentiously gay youth who scream loudly with their clothes, unaware of some’s sensitive ears. They beat like his blood pounding inside his head; the speed increasing, the chicago winter as blur of white-washed skylife behind walls of snow as unpredictable as the drumsticks of Zach Hill who beats the heads harder than his skin can take and they break and it swells as mine do; with passion and unending fervor and sucking at the wound. I beat with my right foot my arms dangle to my side limp and useless and I pound like Dean’s foot on the gas peeling rubber up mountains at one hundred and twenty miles per hour his passengers screaming, but Dean’s eyes just wide with confidant excitement at his grand and powerful gift, his g-d given gift, his gift, his gift that beautiful soul laid near to rest in some g-d forsaken town in mexico searching for the words Allan Ginsberg spoke to him beating him with his foil, so natural of friends they were. Like distant chemicals itching for a catalyst. Beat beat beat beat that stage, be that audience you want to be, scream yell band beat bump let the sax player know you’re alive and listening and feeling it too as his knees collapse and his tongue flutter the music blows through him fire from heaven it beats to the beat he blows till there is no more air. He pauses. Retakes. Like a pen going for one more letter, word, paragraph. Feeling for the right keys and he blows harder than the saxaphone can take and Dean cries out BLOW MAN YEAH BLOW YEAH MAN BLOW and he does, and chirpin’ hard hard bop it is the fire is in every muscle his saxaphone screams in pain the cry of the blue angel so much as he can be now he is free in this, through every not he is alive the fire works to the tooth and nail his veins flux and swell his knees collapse dean continues to scream his hands are sweaty as he beats beats beats beats beats beats beats beats the stage and beats his chest and screams BLOW MAN YEAH BLOW YEAH MAN BLOW and beats the stage and beats his chest and screams YEAH MAN YOU BLEW GREAT SHOW YEAH and he extends his right hand and shakes the saxophone’s caretaker and lover who shakes at the moisture and dean just smiles and explains to him about his loss of previous grief, now gone, left on the bar floor in shock still like his comrades. Forever touched, changed by the man who beat and beat and beat the stage, and driven to beat the page for days with pen and key till their fingers bled, till there was no more paper. Trying to beat out the beat that made the everlasting DEAN MORIARTY scream that night, and the scream made the beats write so fast and so hard. It was for that sax that force of art and jazz that flooded the white void that the scroll could have been and Dean’s hand sweat mix with the sax player’s and they laugh at the moment, not even remotely considering its power, those hands the blood beating through the palms feeling the other human in true musical sense it filled their souls oblivious to their future. Save for Carlo Marx, who smirked and chuckled to himself, put on his newsies cap, tucked his ever present book of poetry under his arm, and walked out into the cold night to beat the street with his walking feet.

 

Here

Me and my friends all fail the kinsey sexuality scale test

and though we’ve matured past such Holden Caulfield esque immaturity,

we still love folk punk and pop punk

but labels never seem to do much justice without an understanding of statistics

and with all of these budding friendships

and in my excitement I’ve accidentally repeated history with sexual psychology.

But who am I to tell another human what to do

when one of my main goals in life is never to grow bitter at the world around me

I don’t know where I fit in

just like most sixteen to twenty-five year olds from the lower middle class.

I feel guilty just for breathing and thinking and not caring enough to fulfill my potential. I should call my family more often but to be honest I haven’t felt a lick of homesickness.

I do miss them and I want to talk to my lesbian sister, the workaholic, across the country underutilized like I am of myself, but she’ll make her food museum one day and I’ll be sure to tell all my friends about it.

And at this point in my life I’m spending too much time procrastinating on the deep web to focus on the more important things

like books

… and friends down the hall who seem to be in self destructive existential crisis.

I love my new friends and those I’ve met who wholeheartedly and unironically love the esoterica that I love like Steve Reich and Andrew Jackson Jihad and our discussions have been some of my favorite moments so far and also some of my worst sentences.

I came here because of numbers,

and G-d bless all five digits because without them I wouldn’t be here.


And I’m just so glad to be here.