Few “programming” notes to kick things off here. First, apologies in general for this coming out later than it should.…
These posts are written by: Nick Cusworth
One of the most consistently difficult and frustrating things about covering music that falls into the buckets of math rock, fusion, prog, and more is that a central and foundational tenet of that music – complexity – also ends up being the very thing that is the music’s undoing. Fans can (and do) constantly obsess over how many unusual time signatures a song packs in as a proportional measure of how great that music is, but so often in the pursuit of the most head-spinning riffs, polyrhythmic grooves, and impenetrable song forms, what most frequently is lost is the music itself and whether it’s actually worth listening to. There’s nothing wrong with complexity and complicated music, but if there isn’t an adequate payoff for the time and patience required to “understand” it then what exactly are we doing here?
One thing we try to emphasize here at Heavy Blog on a regular basis is just how much we rely on and appreciate you, our readers, for our continued existence and whatever modicums of success we achieve. This isn’t just us trying to artificially flatter you all for cynical purposes. It comes from a truly genuine place. Though all of us here have our very distinct perspectives and viewpoints that guide the general direction and tone of the website, we are always keeping an ear to the ground and eyes on what’s going on around us to make sure we’re doing the best we can to keep giving you all reasons to stick around with us. And in a time when the fates of news and media sites large and small continue to be as precarious as they’ve ever been, it’s incredibly important that we continue to adapt to the new realities of media consumption. While it’s true that we don’t have the same financial pressures of many of our peers by virtue of the fact that we remain a completely independent, volunteer-run, not-for-profit institution, it also means that the margin separating us from continuing to exist and even grow what we’re doing and being unable to operate without losing a lot of money is incredibly thin.
It’s rare that I feel the need to Google a song’s title in order to have any idea what in…
Got a couple of housekeeping items to kick things off here before I dive into the depths of post-dom. First off, Post. Festival is coming next week! If for some reason you are just hearing about this for the first time now or have been sitting on the fence this whole time, GO GRAB YOUR TICKET ALREADY YA DINGUS. Tragically I will not be in attendance as multiple life events have conspired against me being able to do so, but Heavy Blog representatives will be there! We will have a couple of people on the ground taking photos and generally having a great time. If you see one of us, be sure to say hi! You will also be able to show your Heavy Blog love by buying one of our beautifully-designed shirts through festival organizers/sponsors A Thousand Arms!
In case you missed it, we announced a couple of months ago that Heavy Blog will be sponsoring Post. Festival, the US’s only (and thus also premier) major post-rock/metal/whatever festival on October 19th and 20th at Indiana City Brewery Co. in Indianapolis, IN. The festival is shaping up to be an incredible event, featuring the likes of The Appleseed Cast, Outrun the Sunlight, Heron, This Patch of Sky, and far more. I wanted to talk to the festival organizers about what fans can expect from the weekend, about what makes holding a post-rock festival in the US a more daunting challenge than in Europe, and about why they believe the genre of post-rock is as strong as it’s ever been and only getting stronger.
Praise be, after hearing my complaints about the paucity of quality releases in July, the post-rock gods have smiled favorably upon us and have brought us good fortune as the hellish days of summer (hopefully, please, have mercy on my pale self) slowly fade into the crisper and bountiful days of autumn. In fact, it’s possible that there were simply too many releases of note in August for us to actually cover properly. We can’t win, evidently. But no matter what you all win as we talk about some really fantastic music that’s worth sticking into your earholes. So let’s hop to it, shall we?
I guess we’ve hit the doldrums of summer for new music, though you certainly wouldn’t be able to tell that by a look at our most recent Editors’ Picks and Death’s Door columns, which were positively overflowing with good new material. So I’ll revise that: I guess we’ve hit the doldrums of summer for new post-rock. I’m not sure what it is, but July proved to be a struggle to find many releases of note, though what did manage to rise to the top was pretty exceptional. Slower times like these though offer a perfect opportunity to take a look back at some of the bands making waves in the scene in the past year or so and remember why they’re so great, as well as catch up on some things you missed the first time around. And there’s no better vehicle for that than the compilation, which is what makes the timing of the latest edition of one of the best post-rock/metal compilations around from our friends and merch partners at A Thousand Arms impeccable!
Maybe I’m finally showing my age, but I’ve gotten to the point where it takes something really special in the indie rock sphere to impress me. Albums still come through occasionally that scratch that itch I felt so often throughout college and much of my 20s, but few things really stick and weave their way into my brain like they used to. I still keep my ears out though for new bands and tunes that can bring those earworm melodies packaged with interesting songwriting that deftly balances hooks with more challenging meat that I crave. This is exactly what drew my attention to Richmond, VA’s Spooky Cool when I found their debut EP Every Thing Ever in my inbox. Formed in 2015, the band blend the big hooks and powerful melodies of classic indie like The Pixies, unconventional art-rock/pop noodling and vocal stylings reminiscent of Dave Longstreth and Dirty Projectors, with the occasional outbursts of angular guitars and noise that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Deerhoof record. The band have already premiered the excellent tracks “Strange Rooms” and “Old Hair Mine,” which you can hear on their Bandcamp. We are pleased to be premiering another track, the epically groovy “Black Wine,” which you can listen to here!
Hello, I have returned! All the thanks to my brother from across the world, Eden, for taking ownership of this place for the past couple of months while I experienced multiple large life events (honeymoon, moving to a new state/metro area, getting a new job). I am back though to deliver you all the best in all things post-rock and metal. And I am doing so at an excellent time because I come bearing an awesome announcement!