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Efrim Manuel Menuck

The music of Efrim Manuel Menuck has rarely, if ever, evoked Bruce Springsteen. Over the last quarter-century, the cofounder of Montreal’s Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Thee Silver Mt. Zion Orchestra has droned or groaned his way through barbed anarchist diatribes, feedback pitted, and screams pitched against the impending apocalypse he painted. There’s been little of the hope or warmth found in even Springsteen’s darkest moments. That’s why “A Lamb in the Land of Payday Loans”—the stunning pop song that starts the second half of Pissing Stars, Menuck’s second-ever solo album—is such a revelation: Despite the aggressive political face of Menuck’s work, he arrives here as a fellow romantic, looking for the complex redemption of love in the middle of a hellscape.

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