The Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-la-la Band With Choir
Released on Constellation Records August 25, 2003 in Europe and the UK, and September 2, 2003 in Asia, America, and Australia, "This Is Our Punk-Rock," is the third release from A Silver Mount Zion. The Montréal-based Godspeed you black emperor! side-project has explored territory similar to the group that birthed them, concentrating on Godspeed guitarist Efrim's more personal compositions. As the band's newly expanded name indicates ("With Choir" has been added for the new album), the record's songs will feature more prominent vocals both from Efrim and a choral ensemble. Efrim's "increased vocal presence," says Constellation, "is the most obvious evolution from past efforts, yielding the most direct articulation of themes & emotions that have run throughout his work with Mt. Zion & godspeed you! black emperor." The record will consist of four long pieces, each in several tracks, ala Godspeed's 2003 release Yanqui U.X.O.
The album's themes are best described in this quote from Constellation Records:
The amateur choir assembled for the 'fasola' sing-along on the opening track sets the tone for an exuberant community-rallying protest music that constitutes the spiritual foundation of the record. Destruction of communities (foreign & local) are lamented & eulogised in the following tracks, culminating in the album closer: an ode to the unzoned terrain surrounding the railyards adjacent to the neighbourhood where the band, along with many other Montréal musicians & artists, have lived since the early 1990s. This land is now being swallowed up by big box & condo development.
"This is Our Punk-Rock,"... addresses head-on the local/universal demise of uncontrolled and unregulated urban landscapes - a demise that stretches from the docile walls of superstore complexes & protest 'pens' in the West to outright military surveillance, harassment & murderous 'surgical' strikes by Western-backed armies in South America & the Middle East. This unbroken curve is at the heart of Mt. Zion's poetics & politics - this is their punk rock.
While the band's previous release, Born Into Trouble As The Sparks Fly Upward, was recorded immediately following a European tour, and thus went to tape "largely unadorned," the new record has been in the making since 2002 and has been treated and arranged at the hotel2tango. The record will feature A Silver Mount Zion's six piece core of "Efrim (guitar, piano, tapes, effects, vocals), Thierry (bass), Sophie (violin), Beckie (cello), Ian (guitar) & Jessica (violin)," as well as the aforementioned choir.
The band has previously released the (spectacular) albums He Has Left Us Alone But Shafts Of Light Sometimes Grace The Corner Of Our Rooms... and "Born Into Trouble As The Sparks Fly Upward."
All quotes from Constellation Records: http://www.cstrecords.com/html/cst027main.html