Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra – Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything
The first full-length release from SMZ since 2010’s Kollapse Tradixionales sees the Constellation heavyweights continuing their trajectory towards a more focused and rock-oriented approach, with the music’s chamber elements often submerged beneath Efrim Menuck’s squalls of apocalyptic guitar noise. This gradual shift in SMZ’s sound has been reflected in a stripping-back of personnel: that dominant guitar is now usually augmented by nothing more than two violins, electric bass, and drums.
This finessing of arrangements has not limited the dynamism of SMZ’s approach: brief, understated piano-led pieces like Little Ones Run sit comfortably alongside the 14-minute epic ebb and flow of Austerity Blues. As illustrated by the latter’s vocal refrain – ‘Lord, let my son live long enough to see that mountain torn down’ – the outfit have not lost their dramatic edge; like all SMZ releases, this is a record which treads a fine line between histrionic and redemptively passionate. [Sam Wiseman]