we wrote it on the road mostly. when that was still a place.
and then recorded it in masks later, distanced at the beginning of the second wave.
it was autumn, and the falling sun was impossibly fat and orange.
we tried to summon a brighter reckoning there,
bent beneath varied states of discomfort, worry and wonderment.
we fired up the shortwave radios again, for the first time in a long time.
and found that many things had changed.
the apocalypse pastors were still there, but yelling END TIMES NOW where they once yelled "end times soon".
and the transmission-detritus of automated militaries takes up more bandwidth now,
so that a lot of frequencies are just pulses of rising white static,
digital codexes announcing the status of various watching and killing machines.
and the ham-radio dads talk to each other all night long.
about their dying wives and what they ate for lunch and what they'll do with their guns when antifa comes.
this record is about all of us waiting for the end.
all current forms of governance are failed.
this record is about all of us waiting for the beginning,
and is informed by the following demands=
empty the prisons
take power from the police and give it to the neighbourhoods that they terrorise.
end the forever wars and all other forms of imperialism.
tax the rich until they're impoverished.
much love to all the other lost and lovely ones,
these are death-times and our side has to win.
we'll see you on the road once the numbers fall.
xoxoxox god's pee
montreal, quebec, kanada
1 march, 2021
"A timely career triumph. The four suites of music here sound incredible, capturing the grandeur, aggression, and power of their symphonic punk with perfect clarity. And it feels incredible, too, as it endures passages of oppressive darkness to step at least toward a new dawn... There is no moment more radiant or galvanizing in Godspeed’s discography than the third piece’s finale, “Ashes to Sea or Nearer to Thee.” It’s hard to hear it without smiling, without imagining yourself winning a race or beating back whatever long odds you certainly have." – Pitchfork (8.1)
"A ferocious, thrilling blast of energy...impossibly dramatic music with a symphonic sense of scale. Though Godspeed works with specific structural parameters – long compositions, gradual builds and titanic, cathartic climaxes – it finds untapped expressive possibilities. This excellent record from this one-of-a-kind project might require time for its lengthy pieces to sink in, but the stirring and emotionally resonant music more than rewards the effort." – Mark Richardson, Wall Street Journal
"Twenty-seven years on from their formation, their ability to convey the spectrum of both emotional and political feeling through the raw power of music remains unparalleled." – Clash
"There are few outfits better suited to produce an album during a global pandemic than Godspeed You! Black Emperor... [Producer] Jace Lasek has done a tremendous job making the band's seventh full-length come to brilliant, vibrant life. On G_d's Pee AT STATE'S END! Godspeed has created a perfect soundtrack for these strange times." – The Skinny ★★★★
"The last twelve months have felt very Godspeed You! Black Emperor. As does this record... For all the existential dread contained therein, G_d’s Pee… also includes moments of elegiac beauty, as on shorter tracks “Fire At Static Valley” and the exquisite “OUR SIDE HAS TO WIN (for D.H.)”. Resisting social media and releasing just two grainy press shots in a quarter of a century, Godspeed remain wary of the mainstream. But as the world spins inexorably towards tipping point, they’ve never sounded as central to their times." – Kerrang!
GYBE returns with another soundtrack for our times. As the heretical anarcho-punk spirit of the title implies, Godspeed harnesses some particularly raw power, spittle and grit across two riveting 20-minute side-length trajectories of noise-drenched widescreen post-rock: inexorable chug blossoms into blown-out twang, as some of the band’s most soaring, searing melodies ricochet and converge amidst violin and bassline counterpoint. Field recordings and roiling semi-improvised passages frame these fervent epics, and two shorter self-contained 6-minute pieces find the band at its most devastatingly beautiful, haunting and elegiac. Poignant atmospherics, noise-drenched orchestration, drone, hypnotic swingtime crescendos, inexorably-layered towers of distorted clarion sound: STATE’S END encapsulates every beloved facet of the band. Twenty-five years on, this new album is as vital, stirring, timely and implacable as any in Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s storied discography.
Just as STATE’S END summons the gamut of Godspeed’s constituent sonic trademarks, so the album artwork spans the entirety of the band’s visual history: the grainy monochromatic photography of recent releases finds its way onto the inner sleeves, while the gatefold cover art harkens back to the iconic graphics of earlier classic records like Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada and Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven. STATE’S END features illustrations by William Schmiechen, with the front cover taijitu flowers and back cover tear gas canisters rendered in raised thermographic black ink on the double-vinyl album jacket. The illuminated cross from Godspeed’s debut F#A#∞ also makes a reappearance on the inside gatefold drawing, in recurrent homage to the electrified hilltop landmark crucifix of the band’s Montréal hometown.
STATE’S END was recorded and mixed in Montréal in October 2020 at the group’s homebase studio Thee Mighty Hotel2Tango by Jace Lasek, the veteran award-winning indie producer (and co-founder of The Besnard Lakes) who works with Godspeed for the first time on this recording.
Thanks for listening. OUR SIDE HAS TO WIN. (R.I.P. D.H.)
A Military Alphabet (five eyes all blind) (4521.0kHz 6730.0kHz 4109.09kHz) / Job’s Lament / First of the Last Glaciers / where we break how we shine (ROCKETS FOR MARY)
Fire at Static Valley
“GOVERNMENT CAME” (9980.0kHz 3617.1kHz 4521.0 kHz) / Cliffs Gaze / cliffs’ gaze at empty waters’ rise / ASHES TO SEA or NEARER TO THEE
OUR SIDE HAS TO WIN (for D.H.)
Running time: 00:52:38
Double vinyl edition is 180gLP + 10” pressed at Optimal (DE) in gatefold jacket on uncoated artboard with thermographic print, colour flood interior, artworked inner sleeves and DL card.
CD in custom mini-gatefold uncoated paperboard jacket with artworked inner sleeve.
Aidan Girt – sitting drums and standing drums
David Bryant – electric guitars, mg-1
Efrim Manuel Menuck – electric guitars, op-1, radios
Mauro Pezzente – electric bass
Michael Moya – electric guitars
Sophie Trudeau – violins and organ
Thierry Amar – electric bass and upright bass
Timothy Herzog – sitting drums and standing drums, glockenspiel
Karl Lemieux and Philippe Leonard – 16mm projections
Recorded and mixed by Jace Lasek.
Tracked live at Thee Mighty Motel2Tango, 6-11 Oct 2020. Edits and overdubs 12-18 Oct 2020.
Mastered by Harris Newman at Greymarket.
Illustrations by William Schmiechen.