Release Date: 1996

Track Listing
1)  the dead flag blues [16:27]
a)  the dead flag blues (intro)
b)  slow moving trains
c)  the cowboy...
d)  (;outro)...
2)  east hastings [17:58]
a)  nothing's alrite in our life / dead flag blues (reprise)
b)  the sad mafioso...
c)  drugs in tokyo / black helicopter
3)  providence [29:02]
a)  divorce & fever...
b)  dead metheny..
c)  kicking horse on brokenhill
d)  string loop manufactured during downpour...
e)  j.l.h. outro

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Member: SturgeonsLawyer (Profile) (All Album Reviews by SturgeonsLawyer)
Date: 5/20/2004
Format: CD (Album)

You know this is something very different from the outset.

Lee Marvin's voice (or a reasonable facsimile) drone-drawls: "The car's on fire, and there's no driver at the wheel, and the sewers are all muddied with a thousand lonely suicides, and a dark wind blows ... we're trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death ..." Against these apocalyptic words, "the dead flag blues" begins to slowly unwind into your ears. Violin, cello, several guitars, God knows what-all else begin a slowly varying motive that turns, you'll never spot quite when, into another and then another.

Descended on one side from the ambient drones of Fripp and Eno's 1970s collaborations, and on another from the gradually-developing themes of Magma, Godspeed You Black Emperor! has, on their first full-length, f#a#(infinity sign) created something completely new and unexpected, something terrible and beautiful, and something - frankly beyond description, because to describe music presumes similarity to something already familiar, and this is not similar to anything I would care to assume you are familiar with. This music is fresh, coherent, cohesive, and lucid, and after thirty or forty listenings I'm still discovering new stuff every time.

GSYBE! are, I gather, some kind of collective who squat in a boxcar outside Montreal. That's cool. I suspect the players (who are not even named in the CD booklet) of being very good on their instruments, but I honestly don't know, because they don't do inyaface solos. They do play with a great deal of passion and musicianship.

But nothing I can say will tell you what it sounds like. So check out their Website, and the samples to be found thereon; then check out this mind-bogglingly beautiful album.
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