From their debut album in 1997 to their latest release this year, Godspeed You! Black Emperor have managed to keep it interesting while staying true to their post-rock roots. With tracks averaging fifteen minutes, every song is like album in itself, each heavy with crescendos of cymbals and aching guitars. In essence, they sound like the grandfathers of bands such as Explosions in the Sky, or have at least paved a way for music of the same nature. The name comes directly from the title of a 1976 Japanese documentary about a group of motorcyclists dubbed the Black Emperors.
Originally a trio from Montreal, Canada, the band’s roster of members peaked and dipped as local musicians joined and dropped. GY!BE stabilized as a band of nine after the release of 1996’s F#A#Infinity. The precision and grace that goes into building each album is immediately apparent upon first listen. Their latest album, Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress is emotional, stunning, and almost overwhelming. Their live performances are something incredible, turning each album into a unique aural and visual experience. GY!BE are the kind of band whose hands you’ll want to shake after a live set.
Don’t miss this Canadian cult favorite on Thursday at City Plaza!