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POST ROCK/MATH ROCK

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


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Post Rock/Math rock definition

POST-ROCK:

The term post-rock was coined by Simon Reynolds in issue 123 of The Wire (May 1994) to describe a sort of music "using rock instrumentation for non-rock purposes, using guitars as facilitators of timbres and textures rather than riffs and powerchords."

Originally used to describe the music of such bands as Stereolab, Disco Inferno, Seefeel, Bark Psychosis and Pram, it spread out to be frequently used for all sorts of jazz- and Krautrock-influenced, instrumental, electronica-added music made after 1994. Bands from the early 1990s such as Slint, or earlier, such as Talk Talk were influential on this genre. As with many musical genres, the term is arguably inadequate: it is used for the music of Tortoise as well as that of Mogwai, two bands who have very little in common besides the fact that their music is largely instrumental.

The aforementioned Tortoise was among the founders of the movement. After the second Tortoise LP Millions Now Living Will Never Die, the band became a post-rock icon. After Millions... many bands (e.g., Do Make Say Think) began to record, inspired by the "Tortoise-sound" and were often described as post-rock.

In the late nineties, Chicago, Illinois, became the home base of many different groups. John McEntire (of Tortoise) became an important producer for lots of them, as well as Jim O'Rourke (of Brice-Glace, Gastr del Sol and many more). Post-rock began to range from the slow, guitar-based ambience of Boxhead Ensemble to the up-tempo electronica of Stereolab.

Montreal, Quebec band Godspeed You Black Emperor! - later renamed 'Godspeed You! Black Emperor' - brought a political element with anti-globalization movement leanings.

By the early 2000s, the term had started to fall out of favor, while the major artists kept on making high quality recordings. The wide range of styles covered by the term had robbed it of its usefulness almost from the moment it was coined.

Closely related to post-rock is the genre known as Math rock, characterized by more percussive timbres, and more dissonant harmonic gestures.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Post-rock".



MATH ROCK:

Math Rock is a genre that emerged in the late 80's and that was influenced by both the intricacies of progressive and avant-garde rock - King Crimson, Frank Zappa, Henry Cow - and 20th century composers such as Steve Reich and John Cage. The music is characterized by complex structures, angular melodies and constant abrupt changes in tempo and time signature. The name Math Rock is a term that grew out of the Chicago scene and the artists working with engineer Steve Albini in an effort to describe the new style.

The basic building blocks of Math Rock can be traced back to the late 60's and 70's where Progressive Rock artists were making more elaborate compositions than the standard rock bands and were experimenting with song structures. Early Avant-garde groups like Massacre, and artists such as Captain Beefheart and John Zorn were highly influential to Math Rock bands and traces of their music can still be heard throughout the genre. Another big influence to the Math Rock approach was Slint with their album "Spiderland" which showcased many techniques that Math Rock bands will follow in the future. Punk also had significant impact on the sound of Math Rock bands. Other notable influences are: Post-Rock, Heavy Metal, and Jazz.

Although there are Math Rock bands in different countries around the world, most reside in the United States, the Midwest in particular, and tend to be divided by regions: Pittsburgh bands (Don Caballero, Six Horse) Chicago bands (Shellac, U.S. Maple), Ohio bands (Keelhaul, Craw) Louisville bands (June 44, Rodan, The For Carnation, Crain), and San Diego bands (Drive Like Jehu, Tristeza) among others on both coasts. Japan was also an important country in the Math Rock genre with bands like Ruins and Zeni Geva.

POST/MATH ROCK TEAM MEMBERS:
Angelmk (Angel)
Zravkapt (Darryl)
The Truth (Tanner)
Austin (Horizons)
Jason (Second Life Syndrome)

Post Rock/Math rock Top Albums


Showing only studios | Based on members ratings & PA algorithm* | Show Top 100 Post Rock/Math rock | More Top Prog lists and filters

4.57 | 32 ratings
CHILDREN OF GOD
Swans
4.31 | 40 ratings
RANDOM AVENGER
Magyar Posse
4.43 | 24 ratings
THE COLLIBRO
Lis Er Stille
4.12 | 442 ratings
ÁGĆTIS BYRJUN
Sigur Rós
4.15 | 152 ratings
ENTER
Russian Circles
4.11 | 416 ratings
LIFT YOUR SKINNY FISTS LIKE ANTENNAS TO HEAVEN
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
4.27 | 33 ratings
SOUNDTRACKS FOR THE BLIND
Swans
4.06 | 317 ratings
F# A# ∞
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
4.22 | 34 ratings
PHANTASIA
Lite
4.10 | 82 ratings
THE SEER
Swans
4.35 | 19 ratings
BEAUTIFUL
About Tess
4.23 | 30 ratings
FOR LONG TOMORROW
Toe.
4.07 | 85 ratings
ONE TIME FOR ALL TIME
65DaysOfStatic
4.05 | 112 ratings
IN A COLD EMBRACE
Battlestations
4.55 | 10 ratings
DREAMS THAT COME A THING (PT I) ...NEVER THOUGHT IT MAY SEEM…
Bosch's With You
4.34 | 15 ratings
HOW LONELY SITS THE CITY
Ascent Of Everest, The
3.98 | 249 ratings
YANQUI U.X.O.
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
4.14 | 30 ratings
GIVE ME BEAUTY... OR GIVE ME DEATH!
Ef
4.02 | 81 ratings
AMERICAN DON
Don Caballero
4.03 | 68 ratings
CODENAME: DUSTSUCKER
Bark Psychosis

Post Rock/Math rock overlooked and obscure gems albums new


Random 4 (reload page for new list) | As selected by the Post Rock/Math rock experts team

INVENTIONS FOR THE NEW SEASON
Maserati
TREE, SWALLOW, HOUSES
Maps & Atlases
JINX
Kammerflimmer Kollektief
DATURAH
Daturah

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Latest Post Rock/Math rock Music Reviews


 How Strange, Innocence by EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY album cover Studio Album, 2000
2.82 | 44 ratings

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How Strange, Innocence
Explosions In The Sky Post Rock/Math rock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

2 stars EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY started out under the name Breaker Morant in Austin, TX in 1999 but soon changed their name and wasted no time in releasing their first album HOW STRANGE, INNOCENCE in 2000. Originally only with 300 copies released in the form of CD-Rs, the album has since been remastered and released as a full-fledged album. I have this newer version and it even dons a much prettier album cover of a nice blue landscape with a little edifice and strange looking clouds hovering above.

While i love post-rock, i am quite underwhelmed by this debut. EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY implies some kind of explosive excitement in its band name but there seems to lack any such thing on this debut. In fact this is pretty much post-rock by the numbers and to me sounds like Mogwai light. The album incorporates a lot of the post but seems to leave out the rock on this one unlike their future releases. What we get are some nice and pleasant guitar riffs that play on and on and reach a climax but nothing on this one really satisfies.

This album was released in 2000 well after other post-rock greats like Godspeed! You Black Emperor and Tortoise were doing much more interesting things. If you are a fan of minimalism then you may like this one but i just find it a tad underwhelming. The variety is almost nil and the mood building episodes notorious of post-rock doesn't build many mountains, but considering this music comes from the moderately hilly landscape of central Texas, then i guess it perfectly suits the band's surroundings. A pretty average album in my book. 2.5 rounded down

 Greed by SWANS album cover Studio Album, 1986
3.04 | 13 ratings

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Greed
Swans Post Rock/Math rock

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars So after 2 full length albums and several E.P.s, Swans had established themselves as a loud, churning, dark and sludgy industrial punk sound with primitive rhythms and sounds and very hard to understand lyrics. Swans was a big underground hit and the fans knew what to expect, simple, repetitive tunes that made you feel like you were not just in a funeral dirge, but were being dragged behind the procession in the mud face down. Imagine their surprise when they heard the first track on this album "Greed".

Immediately, they knew a something had changed. What is this....a piano? And this sounds like Gira singing, but I can actually understand what he is chanting/singing. With this album, the slow change had started in Swans overall sound. Though it sounded quite drastic on the first track, even though it is still dark and repetitive, the band was ready to explore new ground.

Like I said, the album starts out with the song "Fool", a dissonant and heavy piano leading the way with the guitar providing background sounds, no hammering percussion and there are lyrics that you can understand. Yes they are still depressing and bleak and the vocals are dissonant and heavy, but there is an obvious change. After that, the sound turns back to the industrial slow dirge- like beat that the fans were used to, but the sound is not a full return to the overall sound from before. The lyrics are easier to decipher and the music isn't as unrelenting. The repetition follows throughout the album, but the lyrics are so much more hard hitting now that you can understand them.

There are some new things the band is trying here too. This is the first album to feature vocals from Jarboe, even though she is a background singer on the 2 tracks she sings on. The title track plods on for almost 3 and a half minutes with wordless vocals, more like a moan/gasp sound from Jarboe, before Gira starts to sing. The closest thing to the previous sound is on the track "Heaven" which, even though it isn't as loud as before, it is the slowest grind of the album with Gira doing his groaning/moaning/singing/droning as before. He's singing about "This is Heaven" like he is pissed about being there. Quite frankly, this is the most evil sounding of all of the tracks, but it is also the most progressive. You will get the odd looks if you play this in public, so yes, it is reminiscent of their previous material. The last track on the original album is "Money is Flesh" which uses a synthesizer playing the main riff instead of the guitar, but other than that, it still pounds it's way into your a brain like a sledgehammer.

So, it's repetitive and overall still quite loud and grinding. But there have been some levers inserted into the music and you see a band starting to develop and pull itself out of the muck of their previous punk-ish version of industrial music. The music would continue to develop with each album after this and things would get better. As the band approaches more of a post-punk, mathcore sound, the music slowly gets better until they actually and surprisingly begin to produce some very innovative music. But as far as this album, it's still a long way from where they would end up. But it is interesting to hear where they came from and how they developed. This is better than previous albums, but not by much. I have to give them props though for having the courage to develop their music and their talents. This is progression, but not yet progressive. I will give this 3 stars simply because it is an attempt to try new things for the band. But it's still not easy to listen to too often.

 Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend! by GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.67 | 109 ratings

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Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!
Godspeed You! Black Emperor Post Rock/Math rock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars Although the spine of my CD says the name of the band is GOD'S PEE, i am familiar enough with this band's play on words that this is indeed the fourth studio album by GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR which is the first album by this band in ten years since "Yanqui U.X.O." While an entire decade has elapsed between albums, i am happy to say that the quality of the music has not! What we have here is a wonderful comeback album that cannot be mistaken for any other musical entity that i have encountered on this here planet and while not exactly topping the previous offerings it holds its own in a splendiferous manner.

ALLELUJAH! DON'T BEND! ASCEND! totally delivers on the satisfactometer. I, for one, LOVE this album and am tempted to give it 5 stars, but yet something about it keeps me from doing so. I guess it's missing a few elements that make the previous releases so very, very impressive and there is a sense of playing it safe by not really upping the ante or anything of the sort. However, this is a very satisfying album that delivers for any post-rock lover's sensibilities and will not disappoint in that manner. The music is magnanimous in scope, hypnotic in nature and just plain scratches that post-rock itch.

The first track "Mladic" is a drony piece that is imbued with only the slightest of tone changes that reaches slightly over twenty minutes in length. The subtleties are the magic as in most post-rock as the subtle sonic twists and turns are what makes this kind of music really work well. The second track "Their Helicopers' Sing" has a little melodic riff that repeats into infinity, well a 6:45 minute infinity! It contains the usually post-rock build up and layering effect albeit a very pleasing one with interesting time signature changes that break the melodic development up into progolisciousness delight! This track makes ample use of the violin, viola and other post-rocky elements that we have come to love so well in this sub-genre.

The third track "We Drift Like Worried Fire" reminds me a lot of the Indonesian gamelan music of Bali with its rhythms. It sounds to me like they used this template and embellished it with post-rock instrumentation. There is the usual drawn-out approach to repetition with nerve- racking sounds playing the dread card building up and up and up and up and up and up even more. This track lasts twenty and a half minutes and provides crucial elements in making this album very post-rocky. The fourth track "Strung Like Lights At Thee Primtemps Erable" is another drony almost Krautrock electronica dirge that maintains a steady mood while adding subdued melodic elements to the mix. An immensely pleasing comeback by an immensely pleasing band.

 Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress by GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.84 | 72 ratings

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Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress
Godspeed You! Black Emperor Post Rock/Math rock

Review by misterprog

1 stars I have to admit that I do not particularly like post rock. Anyhow when I saw this album climbing the 2015 classific I was curious and I decided to check personally. The cd is made by only one 40 minutes long piece.Not so generous for a guy who buy the cd, but I tought that the content would have been somehow compressed and tasty. I was wrong and I have to say this album is one of the worse I even had. The music start in a rather interesting way, with epic and synphonic approach that I like, but surprisingly, it keep exacty the same sound and sequence for 10 minutes. This turn the good start in an obssessive and rather bory story. From minutes 10 to 25 the worse part , with a meanless sequence of electtronic noices. From minute 18 to 20,5 one single noice is kept for 2,5 minutes. I am too old and used to good prog to consider that like art and I would really like to hear somebody expaining me the meaning. On minute 30 the things go better with some interesting movements, but than again the good start land into another endless repeating section. I have to sadly rate this album with one star and I honestly beleive it is largely overeavluatedin PA at the moment
 Gently Cupping The Chin Of The Ape by TORTOISE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2001
1.10 | 2 ratings

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Gently Cupping The Chin Of The Ape
Tortoise Post Rock/Math rock

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

1 stars This single contains two otherwise previously unavailable tracks and 3 videos. The first track "Waihopai" is very interesting and a great track of electronica and rhythm, slightly abstract and a nice sound. The 2nd track is "Peering" and the melody sounds too much like video game music that plays over a synth base and percussion and more synthesizer. Not very interesting. The videos are there also, and includes some live performances and studio videos, but I only review for the music. You can get both of these music tracks on "The Lazarus Taxon" which is a compilation and if you're curious about these two tracks, then you are better off getting them that way, which makes this pretty much obsolete. This one is only for completionists.
 Geneva by RUSSIAN CIRCLES album cover Studio Album, 2009
2.85 | 40 ratings

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Geneva
Russian Circles Post Rock/Math rock

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I tend to agree with the other reviews on this one. It's an okay album, but in it's attempt to garner new followers for the band, it seems to have lost the fire and heart that the previous two albums had. It starts off well enough with the first 2 tracks which have a lot of fire, especially the title track, and one tends to think Russian Circles have released another great post-rock album. The songs all sound good on the surface, but once all is said and done, it's hard to come up with anything here that is very memorable, groundbreaking or unique. Unfortunately, on this album, the band tries too hard to get a portion of the Mogwai followers, and instead ended up with an album full of a lot of surface music with no depth. The songs are mostly dark, but one track, "Hexed All" is extremely soft and pretty, but again, as nice as it is, it doesn't really leave anything behind. "Malko" even starts out with a nice beat that starts to build and up to a certain point, could have been a breakthrough single for the band, but it suddenly gets very dense. The longer tracks, namely "Mountain..." and "Philos" execute a great slow burn with a build up, but again, there is nothing new here. There is a lack of melody and feeling which is sad for what was shaping up to be an excellent band after two great albums. Again, it's not that it's bad, but it's not great either...only average and non essential. 3 stars.
 Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress by GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.84 | 72 ratings

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Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress
Godspeed You! Black Emperor Post Rock/Math rock

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

5 stars This. Is. Awesome! I thought that perhaps GY!BE had slightly slipped on their last album "Allelujah! Don't Bend Ascend" even though I love that album, it just didn't seem as great as their past efforts. I wondered if the best days were over for this band....but I am glad to report that I was soooooooo wrong. This album is amazing and beautiful and just simply beyond words.

Basically, what this album consists of is a single 40 minute composition that has been entitled "Behemoth" and it has been played in many live shows since 2012. It has been perfected and finally released on this album. The album divides the composition into 4 parts which make up the 4 tracks. And you don't have to worry, there is so much to be happy about this album. Don't let the fact that this is a 40 minute composition worry you, the band does not get lost in long noodling sessions or huge walls of never-ending noise. The music is well structured and flawlessly performed with changes in sound and dynamic. This is a masterpiece if there every was one. This is completely instrumental with no field recordings or spoken words, but it doesn't need that this time.

The first track (or section) is called "Peasantry or 'Light! Inside of Light!" and probably offers the most memorable melody that GY!BE has ever performed. The main theme is based around a middle-eastern sound that develops nicely and utilizes the full band. It doesn't incorporate the usual formula of post rock in that it instantly kicks in full force and continues with it's excellent orchestration through the entire 10 minutes. This seems to me to be the most positive and least dark music I have heard from the band and it really feels like a song of hope amidst the undercurrent of despair. This one will go down as one of my favorite GY!BE tracks. The next track enters into the drone section of the piece which is the 2nd movement. This drone is a lot different from the drones that were on the previous album in that instead of being a wall of noise built around the same chords, it is more of a minimalistic approach. It is dark and foreboding, yet somewhat industrial sounding to a point, without the loud noise, sort of reminiscent of King Crimson's most experimental period that incorporated the ProjeKcts, and probably the first drone that I would rate at 5 stars without hesitation. It is not what you have come to expect of dronework, but it actually seems to have direction instead of just noise.

The 3rd movement is also a drone, albeit shorter this time. It leads in off of the single note that the previous track ends off on as a continuous sound. It is impossible to tell exactly when one track ends and the other begins, but as the sound develops from this drone, it tends to be minimalistic again at first, and sounds a lot similar this time to a Bass Communion drone with percussive sounds. This continues to build though, layer upon layer, until it flows almost seamlessly into the last movement which returns to the full band. Here you get a return to the formula of the final climax built upon increasing intensity and force. The ending is well worth the build, as the climax is one of the best in the sub-genre. The climax comes at full power repeating a motif with building layers until the final release and once that release happens, the sparks continue to flicker and finally fade away as the music slowly dies out.

I have considered the best post rock as the composing of modern masterpieces using classical elements with modern instruments. The best pieces are orchestral and that is what this is, one of the best. I am glad to hear that GY!BE still have the power in them to put together an amazing masterpiece like this. No doubt that this is an instant classic and GY!BE fans need to rejoice that the band is still amazing! One of the best prog releases so far this year. 5 brightly shining stars!

 Gamera / Cliff Dweller Society by TORTOISE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1995
5.00 | 1 ratings

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Gamera / Cliff Dweller Society
Tortoise Post Rock/Math rock

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
5 stars This is a 2 track single that lasts almost an entire half hour. This is an example of Tortoise at their inventive and experimental best. It is an example of their greatest work and is a good way for most listeners to test the waters to see if this style of post-rock is for them or not. Tortoise utilizes experimental composition, some jazz elements and explore the sub genre in ways that other bands don't. I really look up to their brand of inventiveness that stretches the boundaries of post and math rock.

"Gamera" is over 13 minutes long and starts out as a very pleasant acoustic song that establishes the main thematic element which the band will eventually start to build upon. The music continues to build as is typical of post rock. The thing that is different here is that there is no wall of noise established and no real climax as what is typical of a lot of post rock. Instead, they take a math- rock approach and continue to explore the themes. There is a very wise use of dynamism here to keep the music from wearing itself out. As the song comes to about 2 minutes before the ending, the music fades out completely and you have enough time to wonder why there is all this silence, when it fades back in with a strange reverb sound that give the impression that something has gone terribly wrong with this song and some things have been reversed while other elements have interfered with the entire theme, and while some the song seems to try to regain control, it only makes things worse until the music loses it's way and gives in to spoken word. This is a track that has to be listened to several times to understand just how complex it is while on the surface it seems so simplistic.

"Cliff Dweller Society" is a 15 minute epic and while the previous track explored a theme, this one just moves from one element to another throughout it's length, but as it does this, it keeps some semblance of unity. There is a lot of jazz usage in this track that wasn't so apparent in the last one. I heard it said that this track is a lot like moving around on a radio dial on a spaceship and this is a good way to explain the music here. It does start off as a concise piece but as it continues, it jumps from one station to another as if someone is searching for something but is not quite finding it. The use of electronics is done tastefully as loops come and go, rhythms glide in and out and even a brass section gets involved in this. Even though this may seem chaotic, on the contrary it is very smooth, not ambient, but jazzy with touches of dissonance appearing and disappearing. Great stuff.

This is music that transcends any formula that post rock listeners might be used to. It is definitely thinking music, it can be used as background because it is somewhat light, but it is so complex that it demands to be listened to. This is a great way to enter the world of Tortoise, but remember that their music is so varied, that this is only a small sample as to what the band offers. Great music, only available as bonus tracks in other countries, so if you can find this one, by all means, pick it up and get ready for some great experimental progressive jazz unlike anything else. Yes it is a single but, damn, I still gotta give it 5 stars.

 On the First Day by ALL WILL BE QUIET album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.00 | 1 ratings

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On the First Day
All Will Be Quiet Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

— First review of this album —
4 stars I borrowed this album from library after my research for unknown Finnish bands on the Archives. Soon I was deeply charmed by the music and felt happy of my discovery, since I'd be the first one to spread the word here. I even tried to contact the band but sadly it seems they are not active anymore. This 10- track debut contains extremely well done, fresh, Post Rock -flavoured indie rock sung in English. They have been compared to e.g. MEW and SIGUR ROS but are perhaps closer to pop (I don't mean they would sound commercial); the beautifully melodic songs stay economic and accessible, and yet they have a lot of dreamy, melancholic atmosphere and a cinematic rich sound. Everything's in perfect balance. Nearly too perfect for its own good.

Vocalist Aleksi Kaufman, who also plays guitar and cello, has a clean and sensitive voice that reminds me of the 80's pop artist BLACK known from the hit 'Wonderful Life', and of the singer of CRESSIDA. (There surely would be better, more contemporary references too which I can't spot right now.) The sincere delicacy of vocals is never buried under the Post-Rock grandiosity. The album has some sort of an Apocalyptic undercurrent beneath the light surface, and it's well captured in the cover painting too: the comfortably seated people wearing dark glasses are presumably witnessing a nuclear experiment. The lyrics are often quite sad and dystopic but wisely the music avoids sounding dark or depressing. The result is emotionally strong and beautiful.

As pleasantly as I was charmed at first, in the end I have to agree with the remark shared by many Finnish reviews (found via the band's stagnant homepage), that the album is "too orthodox" and lacks of greater surprises. The evenness of material and the atmosphere that stays pretty much the same throughout the whole album may become a problem on the long run. But anyway, what a waste if this extremely promising debut album will remain their last release.

 Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything by SILVER MT. ZION, A album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.06 | 20 ratings

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Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything
A Silver Mt. Zion Post Rock/Math rock

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Just when other post rock bands latch onto the sound and formulas used by Thee Silver Mt. Zion, they change things up. Having left behind the traditional formula of slow crescendos to loud climaxes, TSMZ now jumps into their individual tracks full force and utilize dynamics in different ways than they did in their earlier years. You don't have to wait for the build up anymore. Now you get a thick wall of their rock orchestral sound starting right off at the beginning of the track with more reliance on the heaviness of guitar, strings and percussion with the occasional stripping back to expose the base of the music only to quickly build back up again, sometimes with a direction change. This is becoming less like the usual post rock that we are used to and branching out into other directions by adding a punk-ish sound and attitude (Efrim's vocals lend themselves well to this punk sound) while keeping the tracks well fleshed out and original.

There is so much music going on here, and the streamlining of the band members have given the band a more focused sound than previously. The vocals, while still sounding desperate and vulnerable are also more confident sounding. The instrumentals are more expansive and broad even with the smaller band. The 1st track "Fuck Off Get Free (For the Island of Montreal)" sets the stage for the atmosphere of most of the album with a heavy sound without much of a break from the thickness in the sound. The change is more in the melody and the direction of the song which goes from a harsh sound to a beautiful yet still heavy sound about halfway through. Suddenly, you know what kind of sound to expect on this album. The 2nd track "Austerity Blues" is the centerpiece of the album. It is a track that remains heavy for the most part, but when the noise is stripped away, you are left with the base of the song that you tend to enfold yourself into immediately when this sparseness starts and then suddenly you find yourself wrapped up into the noise when it builds back upon itself, and you are trapped inside. The next time it happens, you think it's time to escape, but you are drawn in further and before you know it you are trapped again.

Two shorter tracks follow with "Take Away These Early Grave Blues" which is a less developed track that follows a constant rhythmic pattern and the beautifully quiet "Little Ones Run" which acts as a break from the noise for a few minutes with a female duet and a piano, which lulls you into what I consider the best track on the album "What We Loved Was Not Enough". This track has the best and most diverse use of dynamics which keeps the same style of singing but with beautiful harmonies by the background singers and an ever changing moody epic track. This one probably is more reminiscent of the older material, but it still manages to stay away from the tired old formulaic post rock sound and ventures out with as much confidence and impact as the louder tracks. The last track is another short one which starts out as what sounds like a field recording of possible an interview and adds in vocals, percussion and a certain ambience to close out the album on a softer side.

This is post rock doing what it's supposed to do to be considered progressive, that is, it's progressing. Yes, I still consider it Post Rock, but it's exploring new avenues and staying away from the usual sound. The tracks all have vocals, which is the first welcome change from post rock, but not really different for the band who actually started out as completely instrumental and as most prog heads know, branched off from Godspeed You! Black Emperor when they went on hiatus (which is now over and both bands are alive and well). GY!BE continues to show it's power through instrumentals and drones while ASMZ continues to push forward with a reliance on more focused vocals and the modern day noise/orchestral sound. Both bands are amazing and continue to pump out quality work even after more than a decade, progressing their sound and exploring new avenues. A lot of prog lovers may have a hard time with Efrim's vocals, but the vocals fit right in to the dissonance and beauty of the music. I can't imagine any other vocal sound that would go along with this music. I can't help but think of this as a perfect example of what post rock should be doing, developing their sound and not relying on the old formulas. Because of this, the band still puts out essential masterpieces and demonstrate the direction that progressive music should be taking.

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Post Rock/Math rock bands/artists list

Bands/Artists Country
*ANCIENTS Multi-National
100 ONCES United States
1099 Norway
12TWELVE Spain
33.3 United States
37500 YENS France
3ND Japan
417.3 Russia
52 COMMERCIAL ROAD United Kingdom
65DAYSOFSTATIC United Kingdom
A. ARMADA United States
ABOUT TESS Japan
ACTARUS Luxembourg
ACTIVITIES OF DUST United States
ACTUAL MUSIC QUARTET RSM Russia
ADEBISI SHANK Ireland
AERIAL Sweden
AESTHESYS Russia
AFFORMANCE Greece
AIUA United States
AL SABO United States
ALBINOBEACH South Africa
THE ALBUM LEAF United States
ALFHEIMR United States
ALL ANGELS GONE France
ALL WILL BE QUIET Finland
ALL YOU'VE SEEN Switzerland
THE ALLSTAR PROJECT Portugal
ALRIGHT THE CAPTAIN United Kingdom
AMBIENTE Mexico
THE AMERICAN DOLLAR United States
ANA NEVER Serbia
ANALECTA United States
ANATHEME France
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