SILVER MT. ZION MEMORIAL ORCHESTRA AND TRA-LA-LA BAND, THEE: 13 Blues for Thirteen Moons: CD

There’s an account of a Bukowski reading somewhere where some fan shouts from the audience, “Give us more blood!” There’s a lot more blood than I was expecting in this newest Silver Mt. Zion project. While I figured they’d follow their powerful-but-mournful Horses in the Sky with something more depressed and depressing, being gradually worn down by the evils of the world, the idealistic Montreal septet (a vocal offshoot of the legendary post-rock Godspeed You! Black Emperor) has instead dug deep into their entrails and tugged them out for all to see. This is their toughest, angriest recording ever, verging at times on—I shit you not—early Sabbath territory, musically, except with strings and passionate, punk-poetic lyrics: dig the repeated refrain of “I.E.D.—S.U.V.—M.P.3” during “1,000,000 Died to Make This Sound,” which rages at the shallowness of our popular culture and media/ public complicity in the Iraq conflict… or try “Blackout at the terror trials/ It’s the sixth year of their wars/ I’m pacing shotgun hallways/ While my fucking neighbour snores.” Whether you feel inspired and uplifted in your own angry indignation, or castigated in your apathy and meaningless contented consumerism, I guess depends on you; I know that some folks find the hairshirt-and-flagellation quality to their politic a bit off-putting. Personally, I find it inspiring and nourishing, in a kind of dark way. More blood! Give us more blood! WE’RE HUNGRRRRRRRYY… –Allan MacInnis 

 –guest (Constellation)