10 post-rock bands you should check out that aren't Explosions in the Sky (music megapost)
Sorry A) for that Buzzfeed-fucking-esque title and B) for anyone who thinks I’m trying to start beef with EITS. I enjoy the band, and won’t deny that they are pioneers of sorts for the post-rock genre (at least the post-rock that I’m referring to), but I feel like they’re the only post-rock band that most people have heard of/listen to (thanks Friday Night Lights/high school jocks), when there’s so much great shit out there. In a genre overcrowded with unoriginality, formulaic song structures, and shit that is just straight-up boring, here are 10 of my favorite post-rock bands that I think deserve more love ((even though a couple are defunct) included are youtube links to a sample song):
*Also, I don’t know how to embed Youtube vids here (this is a “text”) post; I hope you don’t mind copying/pasting
1. Red Sparowes
This band is first on my list (though I’m not trying to order them in any way necessarily) because they’re responsible for re-kindling my interest in the genre; I’d had “At the Soundless Dawn” on my laptop for some time, but hadn’t listened to it in its entirety (in spite of the fact that I’m such a huge fan of their guitarist, Emma Ruth Rundle’s solo work). Okay, so three words: pedal steel guitar. If you thought that shit was reserved for country/americana bands, think again. Red Sparowes make it work for dark post-rock too.
The Soundless Dawn Came Alive as Cities Began to Mark the Horizon
Oddly, the first post-rock band I ever got into (think they were friends with some midwest hardcore bands and I heard about them through them). The band’s broken up (I think), but I always thought they put out just as quality shit as the greats like EITS, Godspeed!, Mogwai, Mono, etc. There’s nothing extraordinary about them, but I think everything about all the songs on their 2008 EP, “Old Stories,” are perfect. The atmosphere they generate is unbelievable, the emotions they’ll make you feel are unexpected, and the crescendos are jaw-dropping. Listen to this shit at nighttime.
Great post-rock band from Ireland. They have a pretty extensive discography, but the record I always have and probably always will keep coming back to is “All is Violent, All is Bright.” The range of emotions you’ll experience through this album is intense; the opener “Fragile,” is uplifting (albeit heartbreaking in the best way possible), but the second track on the album (the title track, which I’m linking) is melancholic as fuck. Perfect music for driving through the forest (as are most of the bands I’m including here; these cliches are basically interchangeable but whatever I don’t really know how ta talk music).
I think this two-piece only ever put out one 4-song EP (correct me if I’m wrong) but it holds a lot of value to me and I used to play it ever night at work around 1:30 while closing. Again, nothing special, but the songs are simple and charming. Lots of pianos, lots of synths. Also, half of the band consists of Dallas Taylor (from Underoath/Maylene and the Sons of Disaster). I think this is the best thing he’s ever done.
Virginian post-rock band that I believe is now defunct. Their ability to create ethereal, delicate atmosphere with their ambient parts, but create freneticism in the same song with fast tempos and heavy guitars is pretty fucking unreal. In the song I’m linking, the part that starts at 4:20 (total coincidence) marked by that tempo change and the soaring leads is one of my favorite parts of any song ever.
Post-rock band from France, which is definitely on the more melancholic/darker side of the genre (peep that album artwork). Admittedly, I need to listen to them more, but the song I’m linking blows me away. It starts off pretty slow (and eerie I think, if you can appreciate that) but the apex and second half of the song are unbelievable (talk about payoff), even though the production isn’t that great.
This started out as the side project of Chad Waldrup from Hopesfall before he left the band. He put an amazing full length in 2006 (…Of Sinking Ships), was quiet for a while, then put out another LP this year (The Amaranthine Sea) with a dude from HRVRD (I think?) who is now in the band. The 2014 is a breath of fresh air for the genre; it’s a “theme” album (listen to it in order, and read the song titles in order). However, I feel like it more follows the cliche’s of post-rock than the 2006 EP, in which jangly guitars dance over mid-tempo beats. Here’s my favorite song from that album:
If you don’t listen to GY!BE, then you’re fucking up. Chances are you’ve already heard them but might not know it (if you’ve seen the movie 28 Days Later, an edited song of theirs plays after that dude wakes up in the beginning, while he’s running around in a post-apocalyptic London). Most of the music they play is morbidly dark, and is perfect for when you’re feeling at all fucked in the head. The build-ups are intense and insane (lose your mind kinda shit) and they are probably the most original band I’m posting here. Their songs are basically all 20 minutes long, but they never waste a minute on shit songwriting.
Another exemplar for the post-rock genre. I don’t listen to their previous stuff a whole lot, but their 2013 LP, “Waking Season” was fucking perfect. The tracks were great individually, but the way the album flows as a whole makes so much sense it’s fucking insane. Like Gifts from Enola, they’re able to write diverse songs without things sounding weird. Linking you the closing track on the album (it’s one of my favorite songs in any genre ever).
I’ve been riding this band’s jock hard for years and I don’t think I’ll ever stop. One of my favorite bands (fuck I’m saying the same thing over and over again huh?). Will not bog this description down with the same shit (take basically everything I said about the other bands; they probably also apply here), but will instead post an anecdote from when I saw them at Fun Fun Fun fest. So I was on the bus, and was supposed to arrive at the venue like 10 minutes before they played. However, even though several people requested a stop, the bus driver forgot or some shit, and drove all the way across the river (cause the venue stop was the last one before the river), and he ended up dropping us off almost a mile away from the venue. So I fucking sprinted to their set in 8 minutes (an achievement for me) and got there like 30 seconds into their first song. I almost threw up right away (I waited until after their set and did it in a bathroom), but it was so fucking worth it. Check out their 2014 LP “Another Language.”