Efrim is one of the fellow travelers in the bands Godspeed You Black Emperor and Thee Silver Mt. Zion.
He released his first album, “Plays ‘High Gospel’”, under his own name in 2011, and it was one of my favorite albums of that year. This is his second release under his own name and, so far, it is one of my favorite albums of this blighted year.
Menuck’s solo albums tend to be a bit more sonically adventurous than those of Godspeed or Thee Silver. Moving from moments of abrasive noise to choruses of pure beautiful harmonic chords.
The inspiration for this album came from the, “brief romance between American television presenter Mary Hart and Mohammed Khashoggi, the son of a Saudi arms dealer.” He says, “this strange intersection – the televisual blonde and the rich saudi kid with the murderous father; it got stuck in me like a mystery, like an illumination – this vulgar pairing that was also love. these privileged scions of death and self-alienation, but also love.” Though, ostensibly, the theme is more like this quote found in the liner notes, “In this troubled world there’s just two things that are sure: The beauty of children and the war against the poor”
Whether that is a sentiment which rings true to you or not, this is a ugly beautiful album. Or maybe a beautiful ugly album. Your choice. Your world.