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Godspeed You! Black Emperor - F# A# ∞ CD (album) cover

F# A# ∞

Godspeed You! Black Emperor

 

Post Rock/Math rock

4.07 | 384 ratings

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Walkscore
4 stars I Open My Wallet...

The first full-length album from GYBE sets the pattern for their subsequent albums, with their post-apocalyptic soundscapes and slow build-ups from quiet as a whisper to thundering to quiet again. But this album has something that other GYBE albums don't really have - a poem that is, effectively, lyrics. Other GYBE albums put street noises, bustlers, radio broadcasts, and street poets over top of the music. But the very first track here "Dead Flag Blues (intro") is extra special. Over top of dramatic string music, one of the band members recites a poem that fits well with their general message and atmosphere. I think this is one of their very best tracks, ever. The rest of the album is essentially instrumental, with the usual street noises, etc, and although the CD version is a bit long (the CD contains extra music, and extra/extended noise-tracks), the music here is excellent. "East Hastings" is one of their most powerful pieces of music, and a key part of their live show (when I have seen them, they have closed their concert with this piece). It is named after the main street in Canada's poorest and most distressing neighbourhood, the Downtown Eastside neighbourhood in Vancouver (although the band itself is from Montreal). Other key pieces include "Sad Mafioso" and "Dead Metheny", both of which also have featured in their live sets. But it is the intro to Dead Flag Blues that gets me, every time. The only flaw here is that this album is slow, slower than their other albums. The CD version is particularly long. But I still think it is worth it to get the CD. I give this album 8.3 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which puts it in the 4 PA star realm.

Walkscore | 4/5 |

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