A Silver Mt. Zion

This Is Our Punk-Rock, Thee Rusted Satellites Gather + Sing

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Things just keep getting bigger with A Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra. This album, their third, sees another incremental change in the band name, and a bump in membership. Though still the core septet from their previous effort, they are joined this time by a 22-member choir. So, with the change in the makeup of the band comes a change in their sound. And on This Is Our Punk-Rock Thee Rusted Satellites Gather + Sing, A Silver Mt. Zion have finally gotten huge. Opening track "Sow Some Lonesome Corner So Many Flowers Bloom" moves the group out of the shadow of Godspeed You Black Emperor! and into their own. The choir take the front of the stage, singing simple "fa-la-la" lyrics in a dramatic melodic progression, expressing a purpose in ways that Godspeed has only hinted at. Halfway through the choir stops and are replaced by a guitar and violin duet that swims in the melancholy waters of the first album, before erupting into a majestic climax with a full band. Whereas in the past the band has refrained from really delivering on a build-up, here all caution is thrown to the wind and it is comparable to the highest peaks of the GYBE! discography. The remaining tracks all feature Efrim on vocals, his cracked voice recalling Will Oldham's Palace, with an Appalachian folk vibe running throughout. Granted, this would be folk music of the saddest sort, but paired with a Quebecois' hopefulness in place of American despair. This Is Our Punk-Rock is the most satisfying and rewarding album that A Silver Mt. Zion have delivered.

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