Hello one and all, and welcome back to our segment, The Post Rock Post! It seems to me that these sort of posts usually start with a complaint on the state of the genre, and that’s understandable. However, today I want to open with a love letter to this incredible style of music: no where can I be thrown off guard as much as I sometimes am with post rock. Amidst all the repetitive tendencies, truly unique bands and sounds exist. Today, we bring you one of those sounds, straight from the Bandcamp wanderings of one of our editors.
Meet Maïak. At first glance, they sound like any cinematic post rock band out there: big, delay pedalled guitars, deep, sonorous bass, punctuated, echoing drums. But beneath that first impression, lies something much more interesting: harshness. Maïak know when to turn that distortion dial up and introduce more haggard, corrosive tastes into the mix, transforming this from just another dreamy passage through a pretty but ultimately forgettable place to a land pocked with intriguing highs and lows. This dynamic enables them to etch their sound into your brain, making sure it takes firm hold. Head on over the jump for your first taste.
I chose this track not only for the overt “The Prisoner” reference, one of my all time favorite series, but also because it’s damn excellent. It also contains everything I love about Maïak: it opens with a dreamy passage, beautifully building up with drums. It doesn’t take too long but doesn’t rush it either, instead perfectly timing its own opening up over the samples from Oppenheimer’s famous speech. Once it’s done building up, we’re treated to a common post rock trope but executed beautifully; the ensuing harsher repeat of the original theme is brilliant.
However, this is where things change and the Maïak signature sound come into play: the middle part of this track is all groove. The guitars are turned up in the mix and made just a bit harsher, while the bass and drums get right to work on our legs and hips. Finally, this all collapses once again near the end of the track, establishing the closing passages as much heavier than the beginning. That groove from the middle part is still there, but the guitars are going all out above it now, using it as foundation for their aggressive release.
And we’re left breathless at the end, with the fading static and lilting guitar. Passages like these are replete throughout the album. The highs and lows never let you go, keeping you on an emotional edge that’s a treat to experience. Without a doubt, this is one of the best post rock albums we’ve had the chance of covering here. I urge you to buy it and perhaps go on a long trek with it. I’m revving up my car as I write.