Record #194: Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Lift Yr. Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven (2000)

While critics of post rock often hold up Explosions in the Sky as the face of the genre’s more overly sentimental tendencies, Godspeed You! Black Emperor is cited as its overly ambitious, abstract dark side. And while this is true, like most criticisms of post rock, it also can serve as great praise. 
They have more in common with classical symphonies  than movie soundtracks, their narratives are more abstract than visual. Likewise, their presence is closer to that of an orchestra than a rock band,

​And on Lift Yr. Skinny Fists like Antennas to Heaven, the strength of the work matches the height of their ambitions. The record is two discs, and each side is a single work with several movements. While much of the album arranges and rearranges the same eerie, droning textures, guitar-based post rock, and vocal samples, Lift Yr. Skinny Fists… mostly showcases the vastness of GY!BE’s template.

​The opening minutes present the some of the purest jubilance that post rock has ever offered the world. Later, mourning violins and a screwdriver-fretted guitar weep under a pastor’s homily. “When you penetrate the most high God, you will believe you are mad. You will believe you’ve gone insane,” he proclaims. And as the record traffics through neo-classical, downtempo guitar jazz, sludging stoner rock, thrash metal, it seems that perhaps GY!BE really has seen the face of God. And it is their duty as artists to show what they have seen. ​

2 thoughts on “Record #194: Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Lift Yr. Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven (2000)

  1. Pingback: Music Review: Efrim Manuel Menuck – ‘Pissing Stars’

  2. Pingback: Record #452: Bright Eyes – The People’s Key (2011) | A Year of Vinyl

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