Monday, 11 February 2008
Review/Discovery/Blank Canvas - Post-Rock
Being offshore this coming few days my outpourings upon music have slightly limited as I have not had a chance to review anything new and to be honest, everything I do have is quite old and impossible to review without sounding a little stupid or out of date before becoming cool again – like liking Thomas the Tank Engine now, but not allowing it to be liked while I was 14-18.
So, what shall I review? Well, instead of forcing a post to fit into the restrictions that we have placed on this blog, I have recently become more aware of a band that somehow slipped passed me totally, and in action, a full genre that I am slowly becoming to love.
Post-rock. I suppose I should explain the genre in its boldest terms, considering that most of its alumni are dead against the genre as it is. Post-rock is basically a branch of rock music, that seeks to be different. In the same way that post hardcore is different from rock, post-rock is a definite difference. The genre dictates almost no real conformity, but the only thing that is guaranteed is that the songs are normally not based or regular Verse-Bridge-Chorus-Verse style that you can expect from regular pop-rock, and in most cases, almost every other type of popular music. Occasionally, you will find a post-rock band that use lyrics, but the ones that I have been listening to are mostly instrumentals, with voice samples. Repetition of key melodies, pieces of music and themes, such as Apocalypse, death, and loneliness seem to crop up a lot.
But on my other blog I have already mentioned Godspeed You! Black Emperor, who are the superstars of the genre, and recently I have started to listen almost exclusively to Mogwai, the Scottish equivalent. But in the same vein, the classical style of Godspeed – the structure of movements and continuous pieces of music linked by themes – is not adhered to by Mogwai. Their songs and pieces are much shorter, with less static or samples, clocking at around 4 to 5 minutes. This means that they are easier to digest as an album, but again, repetitive plays seem to unravel the music, in a web of entangled words that are never said through ever note and cymbal splayed.
The funny thing is, these are the tips of the iceberg. 65daysofstatic, Slint and others are further into the depths of Post-rock and are deeper into the dark underworlds of music so obtuse that I might be the only one I know that likes it, other thinking it is very laborious, with long and drawn out boring sections. These parts are the bits that make me smile, happy to like a genre that by definition is anything that they can’t fit into other genres.
Also, down that line is the discovery of true classical music, and with my other mutual blogger, a trip that way might be successful. I have already started to enjoy the Kronos Quartet.