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Rockets Fall on Nay-Sayers!,
This review is from: Yanqui U.X.O. (Audio CD)
RI am an admirer of all Godspeed's albums but I left purchasing `Yanqui UXO' until last, not through any desire for chronology but simply because I had perceived from reviews that this was the band's weakest effort. Just goes to show how wrong you can be.
`Yanqui UXO' shows the band to be in blistering form. This is by far their tightest and most cohesive effort yet. Gone are the spoken word samples that permeate all of their other recordings. These are a matter of taste, but in my opinion they detracted from the quality and focus of some of the material on `Lift Your Skinny Fists..', for example.
Guitars are more to the fore here, distorted to a greater extent than previously (perhaps showing the influence of Albini at the desk) but I disagree that other instruments do not have room to breathe. Rather, this is the first album where Godspeed genuinely sound like a band rather than a collection of musicians, albeit very talented, chipping in with their own ideas.
The music is driven with an exhilarating rush, exemplified superbly on the album's heart `Rocket Falls..' This 20-minute track is virtually an album in itself as it progresses through so many stages; from urgently plucked guitars, atmospheric strings, blasts of distorted guitar and back again, separated by one wonderfully swooping cinematic flourish. Great stuff.
A criticism would have to be that at 74 minutes the record is a little overlong, but don't let the nay-sayers put you off. If you love powerful and urgent rock music buy this CD. Will there be another Godspeed album? Perhaps not as the side projects proliferate, but if not this is a fine way to bow out. Excellent.