Thinking Aloud: The Lets Rant Edition

    Hi I’m James and I’m a reddit addict. One of the subreddit’s that I occasionally frequent is r/Postrock, a subreddit that I’ve found to be largely uninspiring when it comes to all things post-rock. While occasionally you can find good conversation or obscure finds, the real good stuff is hidden amidst sea of poor audio quality youtube links of the same 50 post-rock songs we’ve all heard a million times. Honestly, we all love This Will Destroy You, but if you ever feel inclined to link us to “Quiet” as if we’ve never heard it before, stop, just stop. Either be a man and link to a Tunnel Blanket song or find some obscure Nordic band on Facebook with 75 likes to link us to. Anyways, before I drifted off there, I was trying to tell the story of how I met our own Foofer.

    Foofer posted a rather extensive list of his favorite albums from 2013 and I was immediately sold on trying to recruit him to be a part of our team. Speaking with him, he immediately showed interest but informed me he had never written reviews before. I was more than OK with that because his posts were well written and he seemed very well spoken, a great fit for our tight nit group. Flash forward about eight months later and our very owner Foofer recently made his writing debut on Echoes & Dust , another post-rock site I frequent quite a bit that is also worthy of your readership. I’m really proud to see how far Foofer has come in a short time span.

    It’s been an insane last few weeks for post-rock and it’s about to get even crazier as we are in the full midst of autumn. With August releases from Maybeshewill, This Patch of Sky and Set & Setting, we’ve all had our hands a little full. Even with a new This Will Destroy You release on the horizon, my most anticipated release this year is ‘Sines’ by Jakob, due out on October 21st, marking their first release in nearly 8 years. If you haven’t heard “Blind Them With Science” yet, well, what the hell are you waiting for?

    One album that I didn’t get a chance to write a review of was Cory Johnson’s ‘Earthbound’, which we promoted a few weeks back. I’m not as familiar with the music to the video game Earthbound as I am with the music on his 2012 post-rock interpretations of songs from The Legend of Zelda, but I really enjoyed this release A LOT more than his last one. One particular song that stands out on this album is “I Am The Evil In Your Heart” which uses samples from pro wrestling villain Bray Wyatt, who plays this sort of Cape Fear “The whole world is lying to you” anti-establishment cult leader. Seeing two things I really have a passion for, that being post-rock and pro-wrestling, come together was an odd pairing, yet I was none the less thrilled.

    On a non post-rock related ending, I really wish Mikael Åkerfeldt would get his shit together and write a real Opeth record. I’m sorry, but even if ‘Pale Communion’ isn’t a bad record, it’s still not what most Opeth fans wanted and even the ones who tell you to just accept Opeth’s new style are just lying to themselves. If one day in the 70’s the Rolling Stones decided that they were just going to start writing  country western songs and radically alter their style people would have rioted in the fucking streets. So why do we let Opeth off so easy ? This is Opeth after all, who led the forefront of progressive death metal and paved the way for so many bands. Now we’re two albums into the new 70’s prog-folk Opeth and I think enough is enough and I’m just going to say what needs to be said. Have you ever read the story of the Sword and the Stone? We desperately need our King Arthur to come along and pull Steve Wilson’s influence out of Mikael Akerfeldt so that we can get a proper Opeth record.

Ok enough ranting. IamHop out.

 

ARCTANGENT FESTIVAL 2014 CLASH GUIDE PT. 4

ArcTanGent begins tomorrow with their early entry line-up. One stage, eight bands. Check this out:

YOHKAI STAGE

HEADLINER: And So I Watch You From Afar –  alternative | instrumental | rock

Three Trapped Tigers –  electronica | experimental | post-rock | progressive rock

TTNG –  rock | pop | math-rock | progressive

The Physics House Band –  electronica | experimental | avant-garde | math-rock | post-rock | progressive rock | jazz

Baby Godzilla – blues | noise | post-hardcore | rock

Nordic Giants –  ambient | cinematic | post-rock | experimental | instrumental | ambient | downtempo | psychedelic

The St. Pierre Snake Invasion – alternative

Theo –  alternative | instrumental | math-rock


More importantly; here is the final clash guide for the ARC and PX3 stages on Saturday 30th. You can catch the first three bands (THE WINCHESTER CLUB, LUO, GOONIES NEVER SAY DIE) on the ARC stage as they do not clash with anybody apart from a bit of an overlap with some of the bands on the YOHKAI ands BIXLER stages. Here is the clash finder. Here is our ArcTanGent 2014 Spotify playlist:


Clash 1

ARC STAGE

BLUENECK –  alternative | post-rock | rock

VS

PX3 STAGE

WICKET –  ambient | instrumental | rock | post-rock

*sigh* What am I to do? Britain’s answer to Sigur Ros (without sounding too much like Sigur Ros) or some excellent, solid post-rock from a band with a biscuit loving drummer. That sentence should make the decision easy, but it really is not. One of the most bothering clashes of the weekend, for myself anyway. I do not know. A last minute decision is on the cards.


Clash 2

ARC STAGE

MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY –  alternative | indie | math-rock

VS

PX3 STAGE

WAKING AIDA –  electronic | rock | indie | instrumental | post-rock  progressive

WAKING AIDA all the way on this one. Sure; MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY blast out some solid, heavy math-rock, but WAKING AIDA have released a really impressive debut album and I’ll be damned if I am missing their set. Check out my review here.


Clash 3

ARC STAGE

JAMIE LENMAN – alternative

VS

PX3 STAGE

KARHIDE –  alternative | electronic | metal | post-rock

JAMIE LENMAN seems to be a big pull for a lot of people. I do not think I’ve ever heard his previous band, REUBIN and the material I’ve heard from his solo act is… well… OK. That tent is going to be packed though. I even saw a Facebook comment from Tim, who is KARHIDE, saying that he wished he was not clashing with JAMIE LENMAN. I reckon I’ll be supporting the real hard working talent that is KARHIDE though. I’ve seen him a few times and enjoy him every time . Good, heavy post-rock/metal with plenty of melody. I urge you to give him a try.


Clash 4

ARC STAGE

TALL SHIPS –  alternative | emo | indie | math-rock | punk | alternative | pop

VS

BEAR MAKES NINJA –  alternative | alternative | rock | math-rock

TALL SHIPS actually get better with every listen. I used to brush them of as a one-hit wonder (T=0) but have learnt to like them over time. However they clash with BEAR MAKES NINJA and I cannot wait to catch them live. A friend at last year’s ArcTanGent convinced me that, when BMN’s drummer took to the stage to jam with ASIWYFA, she was a famous jazz drummer. Once I got the truth and listened to BMN I got hooked. This is real fun math-rock, do not miss it.


 

CLASH 5

ARC STAGE

GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT –  ambient | electronic rock | post-rock | space rock

VS

PX3 STAGE

THE BROKEN OAK DUET –  rock | instrumental

Well. I said that I would not be seeing GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT as I have grown somewhat bored of their output. They have some great tracks but they have started to blend into one, for me. However I must say that I am really into them live. They put on a great show. THE BROKEN OAK DUET are my recommendation for this clash. I’ve seen them twice this year and will see them again the day after ArcTanGent as I am playing a gig with them at the Worcester Music Festival. So I will be at the ARC stage to see GIAA.


Clash 6

ARC STAGE

MONO – post-rock

VS

SHIVER – alternative | electronic | experimental | instrumental

Unlucky, SHIVER. Clashing with one of the biggest third-wave post-rock bands. I’ve not seen MONO. I’ll be seeing MONO. However I know that a lot of post-rockers can find their blend of post-rock a little dull. So SHIVER should give your dancing bones a kick in the, erm, balls (???). I fact I might go and catch their set set and then finish up with MONO as they have the longer set. Either way, you are in good hands.


 

So that is it. Hope you enjoy your weekend as much as I intend to. Stay tuned for some ArcTanGent weekend follow ups next week.

 

 

Foofer Twofer – City of Heracleion “S/T” & Sine of Life “Chasm”

cIf2Koo

CoHCity of Heracleion is the most recent release from Futurerecordings, an experimental label from the UK. I immediately knew that this was something I should at least try out, because they’ve had a pretty good track record with bands like Years of Rice and Salt, and The End of The Ocean.

The album consists of two purely enormous songs, both clocking in at just over twenty minutes. It reminds me of the first time I found Godspeed You! Black Emperor. “What, 17 minutes long, how is that even possible?!” But just like my experience with F#A#Infinity, my skepticism was melted away into awe after being immersed into a lush atmosphere of noises and textures.

With that, this album is probably the heaviest I’ve reviewed outside of the Those Amongst Us Are Wolves roundtable. It’s a very thick sound, which makes for easy listening after the airy intro. Everything just surrounds you and penetrates you with its heaviness. And I will be the first to say that I am by no means a Doom Metal fan, but this is something I can really get behind. This is a musical journey that no one should miss out on. If any album of 2014 deserves a vinyl pressing, it is this album right here.

(Even if you don’t care for this album, be sure to check out futurerecording’s bandcamp, there are so many other genres on display there. I highly recommend Years of Rice and Salt.)

 

SoLSine of Life – “Chasm”

On the opposite end of things, Sine of Life is anything but thick and heavy. With its heavy usage of the Acoustic Guitar and its simple structures, it’s quite homey. It’s warm and inviting, loving and intimate. It’s been so long since I’ve heard the Acoustic guitar used for post-rock in such a central manner. To top it off, they from my home state! To be honest, when I saw the ‘Idaho’ tag on bandcamp, I was expecting the worst. There’s something about this state that makes for so much terrible music. Might have to do with the fact that Idaho has the highest mental retardation rates in the USA…

ANYWAYS.

This music is the soundtrack for someone like me in a cafe, writing about music like this. It’s too chill to not be in a cafe. Even when they do use the electric guitar, it has a very laid back role in the overall sound. My only issue are the fake instruments, but they’re understandable when you live in the small, small town of Jerome, Idaho.

It’s the most charming little album you’ll ever find, and I cannot emphasize enough the fact that you should listen to both of these beautiful, though varied, albums.

 

Next week: Sundry Commentary pt. II