“Hang on to any fucking thing you love/any fucking thing you love/any fucking thing you love.” You can hear it looping through your mind, an urgent cry to hold your treasured loved one near, an intimacy in the midst of an undefined yet infinite danger. Lyrics were the most memorable moments from Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra’s 2005 album Horses In The Sky. And nearly a decade later, they return, repurposed, on this EP.
After releasing Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything in January, Thee Silver Mt. Zion hasn’t shied away from pumping out more music, though Hang On To Each Other is essentially a kind of throwback disco 12-inch with two remixes of Horses In The Sky‘s campfire singalong stunner, Hang On To Each Other. Each remix nearly doubles the six-minute track in length, and renders the original nearly unrecognizable by swapping out guitars for sequencers, wah-wahs and tape delay; vocalist Ariel Engle of AroarA replaces the nasal clarity of Efrim Menuck’s chants. And for good measure, they went and made up new song titles.
Any Fucking Thing You Love begins with the same crackling fire of Hang On To Each Other (which, true to its camp singalong sound, was actually recorded in front of a crackling fire). The track is ideal for lolling off into the dancefloor ether, yet it lacks the pinched poignancy of Hang On To Each Other. The effective war horn-synth and 808-clap opening of Birds Toss Precious Flowers may briefly sound pleasantly familiar as it introduces Engle’s multitracked wails. Although it doesn’t encompass the most recognizable moments of its source material, Birds Toss Precious Flowers, with its clipped beats, “da-da da-da” breakdown and laser spashes, is the EP’s superior track.
In creating a dance remix EP, is an otherwise political band playing the iconclast? Perhaps not. Thee Silver Mt. Zion has stepped off their predetermined path for a night out at le discothèque, while name-dropping anarchist activists in the process. (The train-of-thought album announcement from the band stated, “It’s like that famous quote that Emma Goldman never said = ‘DANCE DANCE REVOLUTION!’”) Which makes you wonder why a collective of musicians veering off its usual path to make an honest-to-goodness disco 12-inch must drip with irony. Sometimes you just need some joy in your life, and while it’s not likely to take the DJ world by storm, Thee Silver Mt. Zion’s luminous mood will still be heard.