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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

4.60 | 35 ratings
CHILDREN OF GOD
Swans
4.45 | 26 ratings
THE COLLIBRO
Lis Er Stille
4.24 | 82 ratings
THE SEER
Swans
4.32 | 42 ratings
RANDOM AVENGER
Magyar Posse
4.13 | 449 ratings
ÁGĆTIS BYRJUN
Sigur Rós
4.15 | 154 ratings
ENTER
Russian Circles
4.11 | 421 ratings
LIFT YOUR SKINNY FISTS LIKE ANTENNAS TO HEAVEN
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
4.25 | 36 ratings
SOUNDTRACKS FOR THE BLIND
Swans
4.06 | 323 ratings
F# A# ∞
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
4.24 | 31 ratings
FOR LONG TOMORROW
Toe.
4.35 | 19 ratings
BEAUTIFUL
About Tess
4.22 | 32 ratings
PHANTASIA
Lite
4.07 | 87 ratings
ONE TIME FOR ALL TIME
65DaysOfStatic
4.05 | 107 ratings
IN A COLD EMBRACE
Battlestations
4.35 | 16 ratings
HOW LONELY SITS THE CITY
Ascent Of Everest, The
4.55 | 10 ratings
DREAMS THAT COME A THING (PT I) ...NEVER THOUGHT IT MAY SEEM…
Bosch's With You
4.00 | 204 ratings
SHADOWS OF THE SUN
Ulver
4.22 | 23 ratings
WHITE LIGHT FROM THE MOUTH OF INFINITY
Swans
4.04 | 78 ratings
AMERICAN DON
Don Caballero
4.14 | 31 ratings
GIVE ME BEAUTY... OR GIVE ME DEATH!
Ef

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

TREE, SWALLOW, HOUSES
Maps & Atlases
RECORDING A TAPE THE COLOUR OF THE LIGHT
Bell Orchestre
EMBERS
Up-C Down-C Left-C Right-C ABC + Start
ACTUAL MUSIC QUARTET RSM
Actual Music Quartet RSM

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Latest Post Rock/Math rock Music Reviews


 Love of Cartography by SLEEPMAKESWAVES album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.23 | 11 ratings

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Love of Cartography
Sleepmakeswaves Post Rock/Math rock

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Jazz-Rock/Fusion/Canterbury Team

3 stars I've been listening to this one for a while. I've been having trouble pinpointing just what it is that makes me like this album less than their previous release, 2011's ...and so we destroyed everything, which I love. I think I've finally got it. Most of the sounds and weaves used in the songs of Love of Cartography are far simpler, far more melody-oriented and less filled with the subtle keyboard- and computer-generated "layers" beneath and between the main chords and melodies. The songs on Love of Cartography fall too easily into the bin of "Post Rock for the masses", whereas those of ...and so we destroyed everything each possessed so many delightfully unexpected twists and turns to keep me fully engaged throughout. The band's intimate and idiosyncratic touch to each song of ...and so we destroyed everything was so magical and so interesting that I feel that I could practically feel the joy and enthusiasm these guys were having in the recording and mixing rooms while making that album. I do not feel the same transferral of energy here. As a matter of fact, I feel myself 'tuning out' at some point during almost every song of Love of Cartography. The guitar chords are strummed more aggressively, played with more distortion, and recorded more loudly, and they feel more rehearsed and more methodical, less free-wheeling and spontaneous. Also, what were subtly layered beneath and within the mix before are now right up front and in your face. I can still feel emotion--especially in the solos, but everything else feels so . . . 'by the book.' Are the band members focusing more on composition and the mental side of their music--trying to produce a "perfect, polished" album? Is this just an example of the dreaded "sophomore slump" or is this the more mature band exhibiting the "true" direction that they'd like their music to take? Don't get me wrong, this is a collection of fine song. They are incredibly well produced, but they come straight at you more in the vein of a band like MASERATI than that of a synth-generated GYBE as their previous album had exhibited (at least, potentially). While ...and so we destroyed everything felt new and fresh--like a new great hope for the potentially for growth and 'progress' within the Post Rock subgenre, Love of Cartography feels like good ole Post Rock. Nice stuff for Post Rock enthusiasts. Nothing very new or exciting for the rest of the world.

Favorite songs: the gentle trip-hoppy-turns-rock anthem 10. "Your Time Will Come Again" (8:56); the gorgeous yet simple melodies of 9. "Something Like Avalanches" (5:30); the PINK FLOYD- and MASERATI-influenced 4. "Emergent" (8:28); the straight on power of 2. "Traced in Constellations" (4:37), and; 5. "Great Northern" (4:58). 3.5 star effort rounded down for disappointment factor.

 To Be Kind by SWANS album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.94 | 112 ratings

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To Be Kind
Swans Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Well this was my introduction to SWANS and lets just say i'm impressed. The negatives for me are few with this double album but include the over 2 hours running time and also the lyrics which don't do a lot for me. This New York City band have been around since the early eighties and have had several phases if you will. The music on this recording is dark, experimental, powerful, angry, repetitive and atmospheric. I do think Post-Rock works as a sub-genre for them although "Experimental" and "Avant" would work although I do feel the spirit of GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR is in this music even though this band preceeds them. Lots of different instruments are used as well.

"Screen Shot" is one of my favourites. We get this catchy and repetitive rhythm that is quite sparse but it builds some. It turns more powerful after 7 minutes as the intensity increases. "Just A Little Boy(For Chester Burnett)" is sparse and dark to start as almost spoken vocals arrive after 2 minutes. The vocals become more intense before 5 minutes and we get some creepy sampled laughter that comes and goes. Some intense outbursts will come and go as well. "A Little God In My Hands" has this catchy repetitive rhythm throughout. Vocals a minute in, then a female vocal line is repeated after 4 minutes. Experimental sounds around 5 1/2 minutes in to the end including electronics as the vocals have stopped.

"Bring The Sun/ Toussaint L'ouverture" is over 34 minutes! It's spacey to start then it kicks in hard. A calm after 2 1/2 minutes and vocal expressions arrive a minute later. A vocal line is repeated starting after 5 minutes. It's picking up around 9 1/2 minutes as the vocal line stops and singing begins but again it's repeated over and over. A sawing sound arrives before 17 minutes and then we hear a horse on cobblestone before 18 1/2 minutes as experimental sounds continue along with distorted guitar sounds. A new section takes over around 21 minutes in that is mellow but then these angry vocals join in. I love the sound of the keys that echo. "Some Things We Do" ends disc one. A guitar line is joined by almost spoken vocals and atmosphere.

"She Loves Us" is another favourite of mine. A repetitive and heavy rhythm leads the way early on then we get a repetitive female vocal line as male vocals come and go over top. The vocals stop as it turns experimental and powerful. A catchy beat takes over after 7 minutes and vocals join in. Love this. It slowly becomes more powerful. "Kirsten Supine" opens with atmosphere and deep almost spoken vocals. I'm reminded somewhat of Beefheart here and i'm not the biggest fan of this section. It changes though after 5 1/2 minutes as a beat and more start to build Post-Rock style until it's insane. "Oxygen" has distorted guitar as the drums join in then these crazy vocals. A powerful tune that has some suspense to it. "Nathalie Neal" has these dual vocal melodies to start and they sound pretty cool. Sampled spoken words arrive and for some reason i'm thinking GY!BE. The words stop and the sound picks up. So good. "To Be Kind" opens beautifully with mellotron as reserved vocals join in. Some powerful outbreaks follow until it's a wall of sound.

I really look forward to reviewing many of their earlier albums and highly recommend this one to adventerous music fans.

 Horse Stories by DIRTY THREE album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.09 | 14 ratings

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Horse Stories
Dirty Three Post Rock/Math rock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars DIRTY THREE is an atypical post-rock power trio, well maybe flower trio because of the folky instrumentation of violin (Warren Ellis), guitar (Mick Turner) and drums (Jim White). The bass parts are shared by Warren Ellis (also a member of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds) and Mick Turner. They deliver a strange sound as they are both folk music and post-rock for the most part with outbursts of frenetic grungy rock freak outs at times, at least on their third album HORSE STORIES. I first checked out DIRTY THREE with their following "Ocean Songs" and was slightly underwhelmed because after this album they tone down a lot by keeping the entire album calm, slow and easy. It was a nice pleasantry and all but never inspired me to dig deeper into their discography. After having discovered HORSE STORIES, i was amazed at how much more diverse sounding their first three albums are.

While HORSE STORIES has plenty of placid post-folk-rock tracks that are similar in sound to the future albums, there are several tracks like "Sue's Last Ride" that begin nice and calm with the folk & country sounding violin along with the post-rock twangy guitar accompanied by the drums that slowly and gently transmogrify the mood into faster accelerating tempos that eventually reach a grunge and folk freakout. The music is never complicated and takes its time to develop but these guys have a playful way about how they weave their respective patterns around each other. I'm really not even sure why this works for me but it does!

While the styles of most of the tracks are similar whether they be slow and melancholic or bursting with energy in their familiar post-folk-rock sound, they also include an unexpected Greek song called "Mia Phora Thymamai" in English titled "I Remember A Time When You Used To Love Me" written by Yiannis Spanos. This very much sounds like a European folk song in post-rock form, it is clearly the oddest track on the album.

DIRTY THREE are not technically proficient musicians to say the least. Anyone expecting complex song structures, lightning fast virtuosity or ridiculously progressive time signatures can look somewhere else. This band is all about setting the tone for a mood and i certainly have to be in the right mood to enjoy it. While i find the later albums are more about mediation and sleepy time, this album actually has some serious rocking parts to it, even resulting in noisy cacophony at times. An acquired taste perhaps, but i'm glad i discovered the earlier chapter of this band.

 Kveldssanger by ULVER album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.55 | 77 ratings

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Kveldssanger
Ulver Post Rock/Math rock

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Already, with Ulver's 2nd album, it was apparent that this band was going to be full of surprises with each album. Many people lump Ulver's first 3 albums together saying that it was their black metal trilogy. To me, I don't think you can lump any of Ulver's albums together because each one is so different. Where the first album was black metal but with medieval style singing in many places throughout, this one is all acoustic with Gregorian type chanting in about half of the songs and just instrumental in the others. The third album in this so called trilogy is really noisy and heavy and also the least accessible of the three albums, but it is still quite different from anything else the band has done, even from the first album. But I won't go into detail about that album here since this is about the 2nd album.

Like I said, it is all acoustic and very peaceful, yet still dark and eerie sounding. The vocals do have some variance in them, but they all follow a chanting style and sound like a group of monks singing along with the beautiful guitar and occasional violin. There really isn't a lot of variety between the songs, but some of them are heartbreakingly beautiful. It would be hard to go through each track and break them down because every description would pretty much say about the same thing. But, strangely enough, this never gets boring because the arrangements are diverse enough to keep one's interest, and the album only lasts 35 minutes, so it doesn't really wear out it's welcome. Most of the tracks stay quite short, with only 3 going over 3 minutes (just barely except for the last track which goes for 6 minutes).

These are mostly quite lovely tunes if you don't mind the chanting part. My wife tells me that I must be going Catholic when I listen to this, so that gives you an idea of how authentic it sounds. But it is still quite an enjoyable album, and if you are listening to the discography in order, then it's a nice break between the two loud albums that come before and after this one. My preferred play list from these three albums would be to intersperse them sort of randomly to give it a little more variety.

So, it's pretty good and I can easily bump it up from 3.5 stars to round it off to 4. A little more variety would have been good, but may have sounded out of place, so there ya go.

By the way, lovers of folk music would probably enjoy this album too.

 Third by PERHAPS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.49 | 11 ratings

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Third
Perhaps Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Just when I thought I finally had a grasp on this elusive Boston trio, they decided to call it quits. But at least the band went out in a satisfying blaze of glory, with arguably their most varied collection of music: almost accessible, always uncompromising, and as usual packing more energy into 36-minutes than most groups can manage over an entire career.

The Perhaps strategy seems to have been: throw as much into the mix as quickly as possible, and they certainly didn't waste any time here. The opening salvo, "Master Destroyer", kicks into immediate high gear without any set-up or fade-in: a kinetic rampage of adrenalin held together only by the steadfast but frantic drumming of Ron Taylor.

When the singing begins (a first for this band) the perspective shifts again, like a kaleidoscope rudely shaken. These aren't really songs, be assured: the vocals are no less amorphous than the background of music. But they add a necessary focus to the maelstrom of hyperactive guitars, horns, and synthesizers, in total approaching the dizzy heights of Krautrock psychedelia, but with a stable underpinning of Post Rock structure and design.

This is also the first Perhaps album with separate, indexed track titles, albeit still arranged as an uninterrupted, single block of music. Sean McDermott's unfettered guitar remains the primary instrument, able to demonstrate the outer limits of six-string centrifugal force in one solo before taking the voodoo way down in the next. "Dreamland II" displays a borderline-blues flavor under the usual collage of spacey effects, building toward the near-apocalyptic mayhem of "Donzo's Montreux". And from there it's a quick step over the precipice into the unexpected dreamscape of "Sleepwalker": seven dense minutes of somnolent yet majestic Space Rock, straight out of 1970's Germany.

Astute listeners might recognize the closing notes of this final Perhaps recording as the same, sitar-and-synth intro to their previous "Kamikaze". It's an appropriate gesture for a band about to willfully end its own life, marking a perfect conclusion to both an impressive album and a sadly abbreviated career.

 Kamikaze by PERHAPS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2013
3.00 | 3 ratings

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Kamikaze
Perhaps Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars It's an odd title for such beautiful noise, although the album isn't as tranquil as it first sounds. There's a definite tension to the music as it gradually unfolds over nineteen sustained minutes: undercurrents of menace consistent with the edgy earlier work of this young Massachusetts band.

Once again the primary trio (guitar, bass, drums) was joined by a small battalion of collaborators, playing synthesizers (borrowed from Acid Mothers Temple), acoustic piano, sitars and cellos, horns, woodwinds, and more drums, and featuring an unorthodox vocalist who sounds as if he (she?) is singing backward.

All their efforts were combined into a not altogether formless cloud of drifting psychedelic chaos. The performance is looser, and lacks the propulsive rock energy of other Perhaps albums. But the results are more controlled and focused than ever, despite the improvisational nature of the final product.

Describing it is a challenge. The music sounds like several different bands all playing simultaneously, in an overlapping free-fall of Stoner/Space Rock cacophony and bliss. The experience might be somewhat nerve-wracking at first exposure. But repeated listening can usher you into a hypnotic dream-state where it all makes perfect sense, at least at a deeper level of intuitive consciousness.

This is where I almost drew a sketchy comparison between the album and the ego death of Buddhist nirvana, suggesting that the title might not be so random after all. The music seems to invite a certain navel-gazing whimsy, as you might have noticed by now. But here's a better suggestion: skip the philosophical hyperbole and go straight for the headphones.

 Third by PERHAPS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.49 | 11 ratings

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Third
Perhaps Post Rock/Math rock

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars This is the third full-length album from US band Perhaps and sadly the last one, since in April they communicated in their Facebook fanpage that the project would stop. Anyway, whatever the members decide to do (regarding music) in the future, I wish them good luck. Perhaps was one of the bands I knew thanks to Prog Archives, and whose music came to me due to the internet facilities, so we have to take advantage of this new digital era that allows us to discover a lot of things.

I must admit that my favorite Perhaps release is their debut album, I find it the strongest of them all, and though all are very different each other, I keep the firs one as my preferred. Let me tell you that Perhaps is not a one- genre-band, no, their music offers slices of different scenes, sometimes you will listen to psychedelic rock, sometimes to post-rock, then experimental parts, etc. And this third album is not the exception. So be prepared to this 7-song journey that lasts 36 minutes and that has the collaboration of Kawabata Makoto, the legendary Acid Mother's Temple guitarist.

It opens with "Master Destroyer I", a piece that has a bombastic beginning with some crazy Zappa-esque sounds and some distorted psychedelic guitars. The song flows and continues like a jam, I don't really know if it is a recorded improvisation or was a true composition, however it sounds nice, but not memorable. "Master Destroyer II" is when things slow down a little bit, but also when spacey sounds and Gong-like vocals appear. It is a cosmic trip in which you can close the eyes and transport to another dimension. Besides the guitars and the evident synths, what makes this better is the addition of a saxophone that sounds here and there, in spontaneous moments.

"Butterfly Mirror" continues with that spacey and cosmic sound, with weird vocals and distortions everywhere. I believe one has to be in the mood to dig this, otherwise it would be a difficult journey. The song might not have a true form, and I think it does not need a form, though I admit there are moments where I feel lost, I lose track for a while. Once again, I highlight the use of saxophone in some precious instants. "Dreamland I" starts even crazier, loony, bombastic with a fast rhythm and robotic effects. It has some Ozrics feeling but in moments it is rockier than spacy, well it is a vibrant and energetic journey. "Dreamland II" drastically slows down, it becomes slower and sexier due to that saxophone full of cadency. The music flows and progresses, the special effects bring that inherent cosmic atmosphere and the guitars put the psychedelic and in moments stoner rock vibe.

"Donzo's Montreaux" has much more keyboards in the beginning than in the whole album. Then another trip starts, guitar becomes main character and provides endless riffs while a heavy, psych and powerful background is created. After three minutes some loony voices can be heard. I think that addition of Makoto really influenced Perhaps, I mean, this album could be one of the Acid Mothers catalogue. The final song is "Sleepwalker" and starts very softly, spacey and relaxing at first. While the seconds pass more elements are being added, creating different atmospheres and offering now a sound closer to post-rock. I think this is my favorite moment of the album.

A nice effort by Perhaps, an album full of nuances and trips, but that I think lacks of memorable moments, of a solid passage that makes it unique. Anyway, one can spend 36 nice minutes listening to it.

Enjoy it!

 Iceberg Soul by NEWSPAPERFLYHUNTING album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.14 | 3 ratings

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Iceberg Soul
Newspaperflyhunting Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Polish band NEWSPAPERFLYHUNTING first appeared as recording artists back in 2008, when they released an initial EP called "Storytelling". Since then they have released two additional EPs and two full-length studio productions. "Iceberg Soul" is the most recent of their albums, and was self-released by the band at the start of 2014.

Polish band Newspaperflyhunting are one of many outfits around that, by accident or design, appear to create a brand of post rock that draws in details from indie rock to flavor their material, and that they operate out from a post rock platform, or at least have a strong and distinct orientation towards that style, what sets them a bit apart from many others. Their delicate compositions with firmer, harder edged and darker intermissions and developments are interesting and often fairly innovative, but the end result suffers a bit from some key weaknesses that will limit their overall appeal. Still, an interesting band that has the potential to develop into a unit with a wider overall appeal, and one that merits a check by those with an interest in bands that incorporate indie rock and a liberal amount of post rock into their take on progressive rock.

 Frozen Stars by UNTIL SUNRISE album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.47 | 6 ratings

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Frozen Stars
Until Sunrise Post Rock/Math rock

Review by sbrack

5 stars Love this album; the long wait was worth it Same quality as their debut album, much refined. Keep changing my mind about which track I like best: two short pieces, On Second Story and Down Autumn Hill, are lyrical, mellow?great interludes. Pulled in by energetic Driving Down the Golden Highway, I zeroed in on Up Autumn Hill and Elysian Fields; later appreciating Perry Smith and Splinters. It's clever the way the album is carefully laid out. Couldn't complete this without mentioning the drumming: it's more sophisticated on this album, integral to the musicality of several tracks. As is the penetrating violin on two tracks.

 It's All Around You by TORTOISE album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.21 | 32 ratings

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It's All Around You
Tortoise Post Rock/Math rock

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This Tortoise album is a decent enough sounding release, but it is not one of their best. The overall feeling of this album is experimentation in soft, lounge-sounding jazz, with some nice mellow harmonies and instrumentals for the most part. The sound effects are sparse through the album and there is a rather spare used of distortion and real experimentation, which is what Tortoise is best at. However, when there is a lapse into noise, distortion and experimentation, it is very noticeable, probably because of the soft jazz sound of the majority of the album. These places where the band does get more avant garde and experimental are the best parts however, and that just doesn't happen enough to make it a favorite of mine.

It feels too much like a "safe" album, as if they were trying to make the most perfect album and most accessible music they could and that ends up making it too plain. The vibes which are used extensively through the album are very nice though.

The best tracks here are definitely 5-star prog compositions and stand out the most, namely "Crest" for it's sense of adventure and the distortion that disrupts the piece in the middle, "Dot/Eye" is more of a funky upbeat track with increasing experimentation as the track continues and more of a Math Rock feel to it, and "Salt the Skies" for an almost satirical take on the album which starts out safe enough and then continues to build and increase tension through distortion and noise before slacking off again. These are great tracks, but don't do enough to hold the album up to a 4 or 5 star affair.

Tortoise is a great band that deserves more credit for helping to establish the Post/Math Rock sound and expanding it, but this album is probably not the best example of this as they explore the softer side of their music, and venturing into the lounge aspect of the music. I just like the experimental side of the band more. 3 stars.

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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
AND SO I WATCH YOU FROM AFAR Ireland
AND STARS COLLIDE United Kingdom
ANOICE Japan
ANTARCTIC United States
THE ANTARCTICANS United States
ANTENNAS TO HEAVEN United Kingdom
ANTETHIC Russia
APRICOT RAIL Australia
ARBOR LIGHTS United Kingdom
ARCTIC PLATEAU Italy
ARROWAY France
ART.FICIAL Brazil
AS THE POETS AFFIRM Canada
THE ASCENT OF EVEREST United States
ASTRO SONIC Norway
ATTILION Indonesia
AUSTIN TV Mexico
AUTO!AUTOMATIC!! United States
AUTOMASSAGE Slovenia
AUTUMN MOONLIGHT Argentina
THE AUTUMN PROJECT United States
BAFFODORO Italy
BALMORHEA United States
THE BALTIC SEA United States
BANGLADEAFY United States
BARK PSYCHOSIS United Kingdom
BATTLES United States
BATTLESTATIONS Belgium
BEAST PLEASE BE STILL United States
BEATEN BY THEM Multi-National
BECAUSE OF GHOSTS Australia
BELEGOST United States
BELL ORCHESTRE Canada
BELOW THE SEA Canada
BELYE FLAGI ZAZHIGAYTE MEDLENNO Russia
BEWARE OF SAFETY United States
BEYOND FREQUENCY Brazil
LA BIBLIOTECA DESERTA Italy
BILL IN THE TEA Italy
BILLY MAHONIE United Kingdom
BLACK FOREST/BLACK SEA United States
BLUEBRIDGE QUARTET Sweden
BLUENECK United Kingdom
THE BODY LOVERS United States
BOSCH'S WITH YOU Russia
BOXHEAD ENSEMBLE United States
BRAINBOW United States
BRASS KNUCKLE SURFER United States
BREADWINNER United States
BRONZE FAWN United States
THE BRONZED CHORUS United States
BROUGHTON'S RULES United States
BULLETS IN MADISON United States
THE BURNING SEA Australia
BY THE END OF TONIGHT United States
C Czech Republic
C'EST MORTEL United States
THE CALM BLUE SEA United States
CANYONSOFSTATIC United States
CARTA United States
CARTOGRAPHER Netherlands
CASPIAN United States
CAUDAL Germany
CAVES OF STEEL Norway
CECILIA::EYES Belgium
CELESTIAL WOLVES Belgium
CHARTS AND MAPS United States
CHEVAL DE FRISE France
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