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inthebackground - The Dash Between Years CD (album) cover



Post Rock/Math rock

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siLLy puPPy
PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars Post-rock is a tricky beast. Not in the fact that it's not easy to create but rather because it is so easy to construct that if any given artist doesn't know how to spice it up it will come off as a pot of unsalted boiled potatoes with no butter or flavorings to be found. However the cyclical grooves of this bizarre genre of rock can offer some satisfying results for those who know how to paint colorful tapestries upon the blank canvas. Formed in the city of Corona, CA but currently residing in nearby Riverside is a band called INTHEBACKGROUND but typically written emphatically in all lowercase lettering. < inthebackground >

This band formed in 2011 and has consisted of Chanta Chuong (guitar, keyboards), Dillon Droke (guitar, keyboards), Stephen Taylor (drums, percussion), Jason Crook (guitar) and Steen Kevett-Lopez (bass) for its nine year existence. The band has not exactly been prolific in this time at least in releasing music. It took four years for INTHEBACKGROUND to put out its debut EP titled "Away With Words" which featured six tracks that almost hit the 20 minute mark and featured a cameo appearance of Zachary Garren of Dance Gavin Dance and Strawberry Girls fame.

It took another five years but INTHEBACKGROUND is back with its full-length debut THE DASH BETWEEN YEARS but at a playing time of 26 and a half minutes it's not tremendously longer than the EP that preceded but alas, a new product has arrived! This album showcases seven tracks that finds the band adding those much needed spices to the post-rock underbelly in order to craft an excellent album that results in one of the more interesting post-rock albums i've heard in recent years. Its seems after Godspeed! You Black Emperor and Sigur Ros sort of peaked, the genre has been plagued by a bunch of Mogwai wannabes with some notable exceptions of course.

THE DASH BETWEEN YEARS relies on the typical cyclical riffs that construct a rhythmic chain that provide the very framework to build upon. Indeed there are comparison to bands like Mogwai but INTHEBACKGROUND has a more varied approach with an emphasis on tempo changes as well as providing a post-hardcore heft that allows this post-rock to seriously rock although this all instrumental album does deliver on the goods of those nice clean guitar passages that are all dressed up in a crystal clear production that allows the tones and timbres to shine like a lustrous pearl.

To keep the ever-changing riffs from becoming stagnate, the melodic processions are decorated with math rock infusions and eclectic flavorings that guarantee your attention span will not drift into the seas of ennui. INTHEBACKGROUND may not be the most mind-blowing post-rock band to ever hit the scene and doesn't take you to the surreality zone as much as some of the more popular acts of yore however the band does craft an interesting mix of traditional melodic sensibilities punctuated by a series of dynamics that keep the unpredictability factor flowing. And i'd be remiss not to mention that awesome album cover art. In a genre that seems content with pictures of darkened fields and photoshopped nature scenes, it's nice to see some beautiful surreal art in the vein of Salvador Dalí. Overall this is a beautiful example of modern post-rock.

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Posted Monday, December 21, 2020 | Review Permalink

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