Vote now for Best of Detroit 2021

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

13 Blues for Thirteen Moons

Posted By on Wed, May 28, 2008 at 12:00 AM

There's really no topping the intro track to Silver Mt. Zion's last release. "God Bless Our Dead Marines" featured not only several musical suites of orchestrated post-rock that were as damning as they were insistent and revitalizing, but also an exquisitely sad and hopeful refrain, "When the world is sick can no one be well?/But I dreamt we was all beautiful and strong."

With 13 Blues for Thirteen Moons, the seven-piece group dials down the arrangements, opting for symphonic stoner rock, with thudding riffs and string flourishes providing a steady formula for groove where there was once a genre-spanning progressive slant from noise to classical. Sadly, singer Efrim's vocals haven't refined themselves to make up for the musical shortcomings. They'll likely remain the band's most divisive element — he still wheezes like he's just finished running a marathon, to say nothing of his mush-mouthed delivery. On the title track, he belts out heavy-handed lines like "The hangman's got a hard-on ... The banker rapes a" what? Maid? Maze? It turns out it's the former, but does that really lend the lyrics a stronger bite?

The band's politicizing works much better when it's unified around hope and free of such ludicrous evil caricatures. This release is a definite regression for a band whose catalogue has been growing a greater disparity between their "hits" and misses. It might be time for them to take the "Memorial Orchestra" portion of their name seriously, pack it in and eulogize themselves in future, more innovative projects.

Aaron Shaul writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com.

Tags:

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

More by Aaron Shaul

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 13, 2021

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation