It’s been a while since I could just write about some excellent, expressive post-rock. No genre slashes, no wild experimentation, just good old expansive, dream-y, beautiful post-rock. Luckily for me, Heron released You Are Here Now and gave me just such an opportunity. The album is an expressive and evocative take on classic post-rock, hitting the same sorrow tinged pressure points as The Khost or mid-era Explosions in the Sky. It manages to shrug off the aura of mediocrity that too often smothers the genre and soars well beyond its confines. On the way, it gathers influences from a range of rock styles and channels them all through a contemplative lens. Let’s meet after your first taste of it.
I’m pretty late to the math rock train; the genre has been steadily climbing into the void filled by indie among Internet Metal Nerds, garnering niche attention and love for close to a decade now. However, never say never, right? It helps that math rock seems on the verge of multiple branching points right now, reaching left and right for new sounds, flavors and inspirations. Thus, you get post rock and math rock, math rock and emo, math rock and electronica and so much more. So why not math rock that’s all smooth edges, buttery melodies and spaced out compositions more akin to the trippy sides of stoner rock? I present to you Enemies and their Valuables, an album that’s all undulating bass, delayed guitars and plenty of rhythm to make everything tick. The math rock is what makes everything tick, the dynamo pulsing beneath the melodic oscillations.
The structure is exquisite; instead of relying on the rise-fall-rise structure so common in post-rock, or relenting into a monolithic, single track structure, Stella Maris just flows. It’s easy to let your mind go and suddenly find yourself at the end of the album. So much has passed but any attempt to parse it into separate tracks or moments is futile. This is why you might feel me struggling to describe this album as I write this. There’re are really no words for how calm, silent and full I feel when it ends. Like yndi halda’s Under Summer, it is post-rock at what I’ve always felt was its best. Instead of pretenses to grandeur, instead of a mimicry of emotions produced by tried and true musical tools, it simply is.
We’re going to do something a little bit different with this Post Rock Post. Instead of focusing on a single band, we’re going try and see if we can get a recurring sub-segment going, focusing on an interesting new feature of the post rock scene: musical collectives. While the idea…