I am definitely behind in terms of covering this thing - admittedly, I haven’t heard a lot of Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s prior work and wanted to have at least some familiarity with it before giving their latest album a listen (and for those in a similar boat, those previous records definitely earned their acclaim). Now that I am more familiar with their previous records, I can safely say that their seventh project, “G_d’s Pee AT STATE’S END!”, might be Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s best projects to date.
Over nearly thirty years, Godspeed You! Black Emperor have created political music, often provoking imagery of revolution and preparing for full out warfare. This is continued on “G_d’s Pee AT STATE’S END!”, but there is something noticeably different about this project - this record, despite being released in some of the darkest and most uncertain times since the band’s formation, seems to be the most hopeful that the revolution will overcome. Between the dark riffs, the dread fueled marches, and the shots of bullets and radio transmissions, you’ll hear soaring guitar climaxes, awe inspiring strings, and even the sounds of birds and bells.
On top of what I mentioned, there’s plenty of things to admire about “G_d’s Pee...” for long time fans. Godspeed’s approach to post rock is still cinematic as ever, building worlds that take you away with their incredible wall of sound. It’s difficult to describe what’s pushing me back from fully embracing this record, because there isn’t a moment that I think is wasted. I guess I will say that, despite the album not being short by any means, part of me feels like there could have been more music in this album’s runtime to fully flesh out this record’s story. I do also think that this record does live in a much more familiar territory for Godspeed that I would have hoped for at this point in their career, even if they’re still finding ways to make said territory feel interesting and engaging.
Proving why the band has been celebrated for so many years with cult like reception, “G_d’s Pee AT WORLD’S END!” is definitely one of the best records of 2021 so far and certainly one of the best Godspeed You! Black Emperor albums in general, at least since their hiatus - creating an experience that will send shivers down your spine yet motivate you to fight on in the alarmingly senseless world we live in today.