GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR
WhenFri. 14 Jan, 2022
"Their first album in four years and the fourth in this second phase—not only epitomizes this new dynamic but also emerges as a timely career triumph."
Godspeed You! Black Emperor released a string of albums from 1997-2002 widely recognized as redefining what punk- and politically-informed music can be, where longform instrumental chamber rock compositions of immense feeling and power serve as soundtracks to late capitalist alienation and resistance. F#A#∞ (1997), Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada (1999), Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven (2000) and Yanqui U.X.O. (2002) are all variously regarded as classics of the era and genre. Godspeed's legendary live performances, featuring multiple 16mm projectors beaming overlapping analog film loops and reels – along with the distinctive iconography, imagery and tactility of the band's album artwork and physical LP packages – further defines its sui generis aesthetic substance.
GY!BE has issued two official band photographs in its 25 year existence (the 2nd, pictured above, being a 2012 recreation of the 1st from 1997) and has done a half-dozen collectively-answered written interviews over that same span. The band has never had a website or social media accounts. Few rock bands in our 21st century have been as steadfast in letting the work speak for itself and maintaining a simple rule about non-participation in cultures of personality, celebrity, access, commodification and co-optation.
Following a seven-year hiatus that began in 2003, Godspeed returned to the stage in December 2010 and its post-reunion period has now lasted a decade, marked by hundreds of sold-out live shows and three additional albums (aside from the just-announced G_d’s Pee AT STATE’S END!) which have all been been met with high acclaim.