Love Of Cartography: A Taxonomy Of Post Rock

The goal of these taxonomy posts is not to provide an exhaustive and accurate list or definition of a certain genre or genres. Quite the opposite in fact: attempting to make such a complete list would only replace one stagnated image-object with another, creating an equally irrelevant definition, whether it can be considered currently accurate or not. Therefore, we want to keep some of that fuzz, to leave ends untied and room for further articles and discussion among our readers. We’re not saying that this is going to be a series; these posts take far too much time and energy to commit to something like that. We are saying however that there’s plenty more to discuss, within and without the progressive metal genre and we’ll try and do that when we can.

So, post rock. Post rock is a perfect candidate for such an examination. On the one hand, there’s a very strong and often negative image of what post rock is. Seminal bands like Godspeed You! Black Emperor, God Is An Astronaut and Explosions In The Sky have enjoyed widespread, cultural popularity, solidifying the image of post rock in the eyes of the public. Pretentious, long-winded, dreamy, beautiful, cinematic, instrumental and rarified are all adjectives which were born from this image. Post rock was, and still is, perceived as a genre for the few, starry eyed and sentimental. Perhaps owing to just how good the afore-mentioned bands really are, their music also overpowered the conceptual space for the genre, leading people to expect certain things from the music that fell under the moniker.

Arms of Tripoli – Dream in Tongues

Arms of Tripoli are an instrumental band out of LA built from members of various other local instrumental bands. While its core group of five musicians is a constant, they also bring in others to create more of a rotating ensemble, each iteration with its own unique musical flavor. As would be expected from such a collective ethos, collaboration is at the heart of the music they write. That spirit of collaboration is hugely evident throughout their debut album, Dream in Tongues, and the result is a thoroughly thrilling record brimming with energy and ideas that might just be one of the most promising post-rock debuts in a while.