The Week In Post-Rock 06/15/11
Hello, all, and welcome to the first edition of The Weekly Post. In this space, I'll be talking about the best post-rock and post-metal worlds have to offer. If you don't roll your eyes when someone tries to convince you that "the song really gets good around the eight-minute mark," then this column is for you!
For those of you unfamiliar with the whole "post-" thing, I'll simplify it as this: I'll be covering bands that use traditional rock and metal instruments (i.e. guitar, bass, drums) in decidedly non-traditional ways that typically, but not always, result in lengthy and often instrumental compositions.
The past couple of weeks has been pretty exciting for the post-rock community. First and foremost, Godspeed You! Black Emperor are currently working on new material, which is big news considering the band hasn't released an album of original material since 2002's Yanqui U.X.O.. If that's not enticing enough, Weekly Post favorites Russian Circles announced in a recent interview with Guitar World that they have entered the studio to begin work on their fourth studio album. Anyone who's scratching their heads at the mention of Russian Circles would be wise to explore their back catalog, which conveniently can be downloaded at their website.
I also can reveal that after a recent chat with guitarist Jeff Parker, Tortoise will be (or already are) working on a film score this year. I wasn't able to get any details out of him at the time, but the prospect of Tortoise scoring a film is pretty exciting ... if it's done well.
I've heard people refer to post-rock as "film score rock" (we can probably thank Explosions in the Sky for that), but it takes a special band and moreso the right movie to make the marriage work. What sort of movie would work with Tortoise providing the soundtrack? Your guess is as good as mine, but I encourage you to tell me in the comments, and I'll publish some of the best movie premises in the next column.
Last month saw the fourth album (and third proper full-length) from New York's own A Storm Of Light. As the Valley of Death Becomes Us, Our Silver Memories Fade is easily the band's most consistent album to date, which means that anyone waiting for me to recommend one or two tracks for you to check out instead of listening to the whole album may want to give up now. If you still need convincing, just check out the list of guest appearances on the album: Kim Thayil (Soundgarden), Jarboe (Swans), Kris Force (Amber Asylum), Nerissa Campbell, and Carla Kihlstedt and Matthias Bossi (Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and The Book Of Knots.)
Iceland's We Made God have just self-released their second album, titled It's Getting Colder. Oh that Icelandic sense of humor. The band, who in their bio describe themselves as a combination of Sigur Ros and Deftones, once again produce dreamy passages of Icelandic indie rock bookended by borderline screamo. If you're looking for something a bit more melodic than, say, A Storm of Light, It's Getting Colder comes highly recommended.
Last up this week is Jesu's Ascension, a slab of music perfect for those pensive rainy days or for just rocking back and forth in the fetal position. Jesu is actually the brainchild of former Napalm Death member Justin Broadrick, but don't let that connection set any form of precedent for your listening to what is essentially a very beautiful, if incredibly depressing, album. Just look at the album cover. If there's anything black and white photographers know, it's that nothing says sad like abandoned playground equipment. Album art cliche' aside, this one will probably (read: definitely) appeal more to fans of Mogwai than Napalm Death.
That's all for this week, so for all you post-rock fans out there, take care, take care, take care.
This Week's Recommended Listening
We Made God - It's Getting Colder
Arms and Sleepers - The Organ Hearts
This Will Destroy You - Tunnel Blanket