Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-la-la Band - 13 Blues for Thirteen Moons

Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La-Band
13 Blues for Thirteen Moons
(03.2008, Constellation)
Verdict: Mt. Zion's best album yet.

I have a slight suspicion that the Silver Mt. Zion crew hates Steve Jobs. I mean take a look at your IPod artist listings. We got like six slightly different names for the same group. Geez! Anywho, despite all the name switch ups, these guys have held a special place in my musical heart for some time now. And with 13 Blues for Thirteen Moons, Mt. Zion find themselves at the peak (pun intended) of their game. Their last LP Horses in the Sky found the group opting for more vocal driven songs over their usual unusual brand of chamber music. 13 Blues continues the vocal driven theme but ups the rock factor to the max. After almost four minutes of subdued vocals and light plucking, the opening song (starting at track 13) "1,000,000 Died To Make This Sound" bursts into a repetitive distorted guitar riff backed by equally rocking strings and percussion. The album maintains this level of rock for the majority of the album and finds some more chaotic moments during "Black Waters Blowed/Engine Broke Blues." Mt. Zion take time to relax for a bit on the closer "Blindblindblind" which I find to be one of the prettier tunes the group has graced us with to date. It slowly builds up to epic rock out proportions leaving us with an a cappella chant of "Some hearts are true". Despite being more lyric based and more "band" sounding 13 Blues is still distinctly Mt. Zion and I'd be surprised if it brings any new fans into the camp. But ya, if you're already in the camp you'll be glad you stuck around.

-Wooly Mammal

Silver Mt. Zion on Myspace

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