Record Label: Constellation
On 13 Blues For Thirteen Moons, Thee Silver Mt Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band (two guitars, two violins, cello, contrebasse and drums) has grown louder, looser, full of spittle and tears and riffs are the backbone more than ever. Anchored by drummer Eric Craven (ex-Hangedup), the band works its slow build and burn with newfound patience, sinuousness and ferocity. Whether methodically framing walls of sound over the four-on-the-floor punk dirge of “1,000,000 Died To Make This Sound” or exploding in sheets of free noise and melody on “Black Waters Blowed”, the band has never rocked harder and has never sounded more determined, desperate and driven. A stuttered blues riff is the foundation for the album’s title track, making its appearance after a blisteringly minimalist intro. “Engine Broke Blues” features a gorgeous set of chords that build inexorably from multiple guitar, string and organ lines.
The recording, undertaken at the Hotel2Tango in Montreal and co-engineered by Howard Bilerman and Radwan Moumneh ups the ante considerably, with crackling guitar crescendos setting the pace for dive-bombing swirls of strings, while Efrim’s voice rasps and wails words of worry, hope and fury throughout. The band’s hallmark group vocal passages are positively spine-tingling.