Home Read Classic Album Review: Set Fire to Flames | Sings Reign Rebuilder

Classic Album Review: Set Fire to Flames | Sings Reign Rebuilder

The 13-member Montreal collective's work qualifies as art in the purest sense.

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Classic Album Review: Set Fire to Flames | Sings Reign Rebuilder

This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


This 13-member Montreal musical collective includes several members of Godspeed You Black Emperor!, which will come as no surprise to anyone who tosses their debut album Sings Reign Rebuilder into the CD changer and presses Play.

What ensues from that action bears a striking resemblance to the work of Godspeed — an abstract collage of junk-shop noise, found sounds, street recordings, free-jazz skronk and epic-length orchestral-rock excursions, all strung together in seemingly random order into a 73-minute soundscape whose intent and meaning are elusively enigmatic. At times gorgeous and thrilling, at others unsettling and annoying, but never anything less than challenging and uncompromising, Sings Reign Rebuilder is one of the few occasions when music — not to mention the aesthetic, richly textured packaging — truly qualifies as fine art in the purest sense.