Efrim Menuck releases full-length ‘Pissing Stars’

Efrim Menuck
Pissing Stars

Constellation Records · February 2, 2018


Post-rock titan Efrim Menuck, best known for his involvement in Godspeed You! Black Emperor and A Silver Mt. Zion, has come back with his second solo outing Pissing Stars. Coming almost seven years after his solo debut Plays “High Gospel”, there were certainly questions over what direction this will go: Will it build off his previous solo effort? Will it build off his most recent work with Godspeed You! Black Emperor? Or will it take a different route entirely?

In essence, this album wound up being somewhat of a mesh between what he did on Plays “High Gospel” and what he did on later Godspeed You! Black Emperor efforts such as last year’s Luciferian Towers. This album primarily consists of the drone-y sonic landscapes one has come to expect from Menuck’s works, and the sounds of this album range from being calm and ethereal to more noisy and gritty, such as how the title track builds up into a noisy and fuzzy catharsis. But often these parts only partially succeeded in achieving the desired mood. Parts like the aforementioned track are often so fuzzy or lo-fi that they fail to capture any real sense of suspense, instead just assaulting the listener’s ears. The more ethereal parts of the album are more successful in achieving the calm mood they set out for, with the lo-fi aesthetic present on this album working to enhance it as opposed to undermine it.

However, like in Menuck’s previous solo effort, the music on this album had a much more prominent vocal component than his work with both Godspeed You! Black Emperor and A Silver Mt. Zion. Examples include tracks such as ‘A Lamb in the Land of Payday Loans’ and the opening track ‘Black Flags Ov Thee Holy Sonne.’

Quality-wise, this album leaves me extremely indifferent: There isn’t much wrong with it, but there isn’t much right with it either. Even after spinning this album many times, I honestly can barely remember much of it at all off the top of my head, there were no vocal melodies or instrumental passages from the album that were all that memorable. This album largely just goes in one ear and out the other. I had pretty much no problem with it, there was nothing that stuck out about the album as being overtly bad, rather it was just an extremely forgettable experience as a listener. This album is a recommended listen to the more hard-core fans of Menuck’s work, but not much more than that.

 

Listen to Pissing Stars here:

About Stefanos Kiorpes 4 Articles
Stefanos Kiorpes is a first-year economics major at Northeastern University from Boston, MA. He enjoys noise rock, eating chinese food, and having opinions. You can sift through his opinions on music here: https://rateyourmusic.com/~skiorpes

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