One of the most obvious signs of a scene flourishing, a sign which at the same time is strangely overlooked, is the formation of new infrastructure. This can take shape in the form of festivals, newsletters, blogs or even venues but often can, and does, take the form of labels. After all, if your scene is making music but there’s no one to take care of the busywork of printing it, uploading it, marketing it and, basically, getting it into the ears of your listeners, what sort of scene are you at all? As we continue to escort the birth (or rather, formulation) of what we’ve dubbed the “new wave of American post-rock“, we’ve been seeing these organizations and infrastructure sprout all over the place: A Thousand Arms, Dunk! Fest and Records, and Post. Festival are good examples.
That last one is especially pertinent since they’ve also started branching out into the label business; from the marriage of that newfangled branch of their organization and the excellent A Thousand Arms comes our premiere for today. Naturally, it’s for an album that exemplifies the type of post-rock these festivals and labels have been dealing in over the past few years. Rhone‘s Leaving State is made up of eight tracks filled with aching longing, hopeful melancholy, and plenty of delayed guitars. Their approach to the genre is also fleshed out by an excellent groove section, further cementing my belief that loud bass and prominent, smart drums on post-rock is the best thing ever.
I recommend you start with the second track, “First Step on Land”. It is dominated by beautiful, tremolo picked lines that evoke the finer days of Mono‘s career. These are accentuated by that massive groove section I mentioned; the drum tone is incredibly on point, expertly pinpointing the multiple bass and backing guitar tracks utilized throughout. The end result is something meaty but with plenty of ethereal aesthetic to it; the track is not shy in taking its time for some ambience reminiscent of Sleeping Bear or label mates like Ranges or Old Solar. All of this comes together to makes for one emotional moment on an album filled to the brim with them, possessed of enough variety and personal touch to set it ablaze with its own personality.
Bottom line, this is another powerful addition to the new wave of American post-rock and a testimony to the good new organizations can do for genres. Don’t forget to keep your eyes on the band’s Bandcamp where the album will be available, releasing this Friday via Post. Recordings and A Thousand Arms.