We’ve spoken about Arctic Drones before, but just in case you’ve forgotten they’re a really good music blog you should follow. They’re focused on post rock and metal but they do all sorts of things, albeit mostly thing around the more gloomy end of the musical scale. However, starting September of last year, they published a list of “upbeat post rock” and it’s a goddamn treasure trove. It includes post rock which isn’t just build up and crescendo, but rather more focused on groove with bands like Adebisi Shank, Totorro (best band) and many more. The definition of post rock has obviously been stretched a bit on this series of posts but honestly, who cares? I’ve found so many great bands as a result of reading it that I really don’t mind about which genre they’re from.
A prime example of a solidly post rock band included on that list, since this is “Post Rock” Post after all, is Anathème and their album Fūjon. These French delay aficionados certainly deal with the intimacies of build up and crescendos but do so in a way that is infected with a kind of cheery optimism that’s hard to resist. The main comparison point has to be Alcest. Fūjon is almost like a dirtier Shelter, doing much to better the formula of that album by injecting the production and composition with a bit more life and meat.
Check out “Baisers de Glasgow” for example, which is also the track Arctic Drones linked to; the beginning of the track works beautifully with the more melancholic middle part, spotted with choirs which remind us of We Lost the Sea and thick drums that do much to add to the progression and momentum of the track. When the initial lines return, after the sojourn in melancholy of the middle, they’re that much more powerful, backed by several backing guitar tracks. The rest of the album is just as good at taking the same approach, namely that of muscular post rock that manages to use its presence to express positivity and strength even when it sticks to the melancholic side of music.