I love micro-scenes. If you’re unaware of the term, it is used to describe those little cliques you can find in the music community, cliques that aren’t big enough to be described as scenes in their own right. They’re often arranged around a person, a band, a family or a…
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!
It’s now time again for good news out of the ever-creative spaces of sunny, Old Kingdom(s) post/math rock in the form of Reckoner Festival. Reckoner Festival will take place on October 13th, on what will hopefully be a Saturday with some amount of sun and heat left, in the University of Sheffield, at the uber-sleek FUSION & FOUNDRY. During said date, attendees of the festival will enjoy the sounds of bands like LITE (an amazing post rock band from Japan, who you simply must hear), up and coming chaotic hardcore madmen Employed to Serve, the extremely powerful all-around-noise-machine that is Oslo’s Aiming for Enrike, blog darlings VASA, and other bands like Body Hound and Trigger Thumb.
Noyan is away, so Eden hosts fellow blog editor, Nick Cusworth! This gives the two opportunity to talk about stuff that usually doesn’t come up on the cast which they use to shine a light on Jim Grey from Caligula’s Horse releasing a video for the A Capela segment on their latest album, Plini releasing a new track, and a deep dive on the changes undergoing the post rock scene, recommended bands that make post rock or metal and the close knit networks that make these scenes happen! Along the way, they mention bands like Man Mountain, This Patch of Sky, Town Portal, VASA, Rumour Cubes, The Physics House Band, Alpha Male Tea Party, Mountain, Below a Silent Sky, Flora, Soldat Hans and more!
Then, it’s time for the bad news. They start off with surprising opinions revolving around gun control, first from Run the Jewels’ Killer Mike and then from Taylor Swift. They then move on to the click-bait article published on The Washington Post which claims that physical sales exceeded digital ones in 2017. While that’s technically true, the two analyze why that happened and get pretty personal on vinyl and CDs! Lastly, there’s a trio of terrible politics from the metal community. The first is the ridicule in the wake of The Faceless breaking up again, and what that says about the community’s terrible perspectives on addiction. Then, there’s another statement from Decapitated who totally by accident (allegedly) misinterpret and represent the facts of their trial again. Finally, there’s the awful news of Inquisition’s Dagon involvement with child pornography and, surprise, the community’s desire to protect him.
Cool people time includes The Witcher 3, CW’s Black Lightning and Ninefox Gambit!
Something is golden in the Kingdom of the Scots. And the Irish. And the English. For the past decade, the “old country” has been giving us more and more excellent releases revolving around the genres of post rock, math rock, alternative rock and the such. More than that, bands from the area have been painting these genres in brighter and more unique color than their compatriots in other places. Examples? VASA, Town Portal, Alpha Male Tea Party and more and more. Well, here comes another; A Sudden Burst of Colour have recently released a single titled “I Am The Storm” and it’s all of the above; it’s a bit of post rock, a bit of math rock and a whole lot of groove section goodness. We’re here to tell you to check it out!
And So I Watch You From Afar. After releasing one of the finest examples of the sub-genre, All Hail Bright Futures, the band erroneously became the only name that people could cite from this movement. This became even more of a shame when they followed up on that excellent release with Heirs, an album that was fine but was definitely no standard-bearer of the approach to math-rock.
It now seems, however misguided it may be, that ASIWYFA are back to claim the crown of large math-rock once again. The Endless Shimmering, sporting one of the most dubious cover arts we’ve yet to lay our poor eyes open, is very much a return to for the Irish band. It reaches back into their earlier roster to bring forth the sounds that made us fall in love with them while still keeping enough from All Hail Bright Futures to satiate our thirst for its particular tone. The Endless Shimmering is, from beginning to end, an album focused on delivery, punch and vibrant math-rock. We mean that by the way; the album doesn’t mess around with intros or build ups or elongated passages musing on time and space.
Hello! A little over a week ago, I informed you that good guys A Thousand Arms are back with yet another incredible compilation. Side A of Open Language Vol. II, with which the last post was mainly concerned, focused on post rock and metal bands from the good ol’ USA. We dug deep into the release finding plenty of gems hidden without it. Now, I’m back as promised to take a close look at Side B, which collects post rock and metal bands from all over the world. This side caught me a bit unawares; it suffered from a slightly lackluster opening half. However, there are some bands almost hidden as a reward for the careful listener near the end of the volume that more than make this side a must listen as well. Let’s dig in!
OK yeah, that name is weird, let’s move on together, shall we? Alpha Male Tea Party are another stroke in the fast expanding painting that is the “bright” math-rock community, once spearheaded by acts like Adebisi Shank and And So I Watch You From Afar and now containing as diverse acts as VASA or MNHM. The joining thread seems to be first a musical and, second, a geographical one. As far as the music goes, one can expect major chords played over energetic beats, creating frantic excursions into disjointedly optimistic riffs and an overall sensation of…satisfied loss? Let’s go with that. Geographically, the main output in this field seems to erupt from the British Isles, Perfidious Albion, or however else you’d like to call that strange, strange group of disparate places.
Hello folks! Usually the title above connotes that you’re about to be treated to the writings (or ramblings) of on Matt MacLennan. He usually handles these posts about Holy Roar Records and all their wonderful bands, usually containing some sort of relationship with hardcore. However, we’re doing things differently this time around because we’re handling a slightly different sound and now I am here! The band in question is Pijn and their album Floodlit, which saw release a few days ago, on the 27th of January. Floodlit is an interesting blend between happy-go-lucky post/math rock in the style of VASA or And So I Watch You From Afar and heavy, grandiose post metal. Right? I can’t think of many other labels besides Holy Roar that would be a fitting home for something like that. Let’s send you on down for your first listen and congregate after for some choice words.
As time goes by, post rock is apparently being forced more and more into exploration under the sheer weight of its aesthetic. As a genre which deals with re-configuring and re-hashing rock, this is perhaps a much delayed return to the roots of the genre. We had long cried out for this form of experimantation, warning that stagnation lies in avoiding it. Thankfully, 2015 and 2016 seem to be heading on the right trend, with a host of new(ish) groups tackling the validity and relevance of post rock (Tumbleweed Dealer, Farfetch’d, VASA, Father Figure, Town Portal to name a few). Here’s another name for that list: Overhead, The Albatross.