Thursday, February 18, 2010

Silver Mt. Zion - Kollaps Tradixionales

Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra
Kollaps Tradixionales
2x10"/CD/CD and book

Godspeed You! Black Emperor succeeded in making their music a mystery. In being largely instrumental, the songs gave you a soundtrack to a film inside your head. The former GY!BE members in Silver Mt. Zion still brilliantly play their instruments but added vocals that don't allow the intimate relationship the listener had with Godspeed. Once again, the real highlight is the magnificent violin interplay of Sophie Trudeau and Jessica Moss. Once again, the lone detraction is the grating vocals of founder Efrim Menuck.

As I said, there is some fantastic musicianship here. Had all of these songs been instrumentals (not just tracks 3 and 6), Kollaps would be a transcedent listening experience. The actual song composition and arranging is rather concise rather than the usual sprawling epics. Compared to previous albums, the majority of the songs are relatively short with four tracks clocking in at under 7 minutes (for these guys those are punk songs). The issue there is that Menuck sings as much in the shorter songs as he did in the thirteen minute-plus tracks on 13 Blues For Thirteen Moons. The main standout track is the uncharacteristic rocker "I Built Myself A Metal Bird,".

Ultimately, Silver Mt. Zion is mired in Smashing Pumpkins territory: great music with awful singing. To be fair, though, I would rather listen to this than Billy Corgan any day.

Track Grades:
  1. There Is A Light - 7.5
  2. I Built Myself A Metal Bird - 9.2
  3. I Fed My Metal Bird The Wings Of Other Metal Birds - 9.0
  4. Kollapz Tradixional (Thee Olde Dirty Flag) - 8.3
  5. Collapse Traditional (For Darling) - 7.1
  6. Kollaps Tradicional (Bury 3 Dynamos) - 7.7
  7. 'Piphany Rambler - 7.4
Overall Grade = 8.03

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