ALBUM REVIEW: Godspeed You! Black Emperor – G_d’s Pee At State’s End!

Release Date: April 2nd 2021
Label: Constellation Records
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Marking their fourth full-length release since their reunion and seventh overall, Godspeed You! Black Emperor offer up their latest effort, ‘G_d’s Pee At State’s End’.

Moving away from the drone heavy compositions of its predecessor, ‘G_d’s Pee At State’s End’ sees the group tangle with ambient soundscapes, bustling drums, and spinning guitars across the four movements on display.

Opening the first suite with the ambient soundscape of ‘Military Alphabet’, Godspeed You! Black Emperor play with anticipation. Using a combination of white noise and collaged samples, the track takes its time to unfold a series of lingering notes that push the concept of the group’s progressive and, at times, minimal sound.

Bleeding into ‘Job’s Lament’, a tentative melody sits atop a subtlety shifting soundscape before using a taught build up to unfold a shimmering climax. Marrying elements of dream pop, psychedelia, and post-punk into a melting pot of melody, ‘Job’s Lament’ sees the band continue to explore their blend of post-rock and atmospheric punk without caution.

After the spinning conclusion of its predecessor, ‘First Of The Last Glaciers’ delivers a cinematic approach to post-rock, creating a bleak yet necessary soundscape. Lingering guitars and deliberate percussion work with space to create a slow burning but defiant collage of sound that closes the first act of the record. Following on from the sonic break of ‘Where We Break How We Shine’, ‘Fire At Static Valley’ delivers a compact mix of slow burning melody and unnerving soundscapes to craft a hypnotising middle act.

Never ones to shy away from politics, Godspeed You! Black Emperor infuse a collage of samples at the beginning of ‘Government Came’ for us to decipher before balancing between sneaking strings, jagged guitars, and jazz influenced drums to create an eerie yet melodic track. Whilst, for the most part, the record sees the band refine a soundscape that is arguably defined by their body of work, concluding track ‘Our Side Has To Win’ offers a slight deviation from their main formula.

Following on from the explosive ‘Ashes To Sea Or Nearer Thee’‘Our Side Has To Win’ leans on shimmering chords and floating harmonies to create a minimal moment of reflection on a record that constantly pushes towards to ambitious concepts and sprawling runtimes. Concise and highlighting the melodic undercurrent of the record, ‘G_d’s Pee At State’s End’ concludes its journey with a reflection instead of a bang.