13 Blues for Thirteen Moons – A Silver Mt. Zion

Hyperbole is as essential to rock’s DNA as the electric guitar. It’s a concept which Efrim Menuck seems well acquainted, as he sings, “One million died to make this sound,” the oft-repeated refrain from the song of the same name, the 13th track on 13 Blues for Thirteen Moons. But really, for all intents and purposes it’s the first, the 12 tracks preceding it being a fractured seconds-long collection of feedback build-up. That only four of the tracks on the record actually qualify as songs would be enough to call shenanigans on Menuck, had they not all clocked in between 13-17 minutes a piece.

From song length to titles to artwork, The Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band does pretty much everything huge, and thankfully, the accompanying songs are fittingly epic. The four tracks that comprise the rear end of 13 Blues share more with Stephen McBean’s two Mountain-themed bands than Menuck’s other recently-defunct project, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, shunning that band’s instrumental post-rock for amped-up musical explosions rooted firmly in the long-haired guitar rock of the Me decade. The four tracks contained herein are that rare rock and roll beast which largely makes good on its own hyperbolic promises.