Rhone – Inter Sidera – 88%

Inter Sidera LP cover art

Rhone are four piece post-rock band from Chicago, IL who describe themselves as a “new flavor to the genre” on their facebook page despite being only 9 months old. I was introduced to them through my friend and fellow post-rock addict Will Hough, who’s photography happens graces the cover of their debut album ‘Inter Sidera’.

Topping 35 minutes across 5 tracks, Rhone brings to the table with ‘Inter Sidera’ a calming, subdued style of post-rock. Their sound generally falls somewhere between a mix of The End of the Ocean and Long Distance Calling. Even though the album shows some of the telltale signs of standard third wave post-rock, I think this can be largely overlooked. The band unquestionably has their own distinctive style and sound, traits that are necessary to stand out in a genre full of crescendo-laiden build ups and monumental break downs. One aspect of the album that really stood out to me is the drumming, which is very front sounding and dominant in the mix. “Makeshift House” is perhaps the best example of this and is also my favorite track on the album. Between the drums and fantastic chill guitar work, this is the perfect song to just let the mind wander.

Before I go any further, I’d like to stop leading you to believe that this album is all cheerful, happy post-rock because that isn’t the case. “To and From” goes on a tirade of sludge inspired guitar-work and is really the start of a transformation in the album where the music takes a serious turn as if to say “play time is over”. Ultra bright layered guitar work with just the right amount of echo plays on in despair before ending in a screeching static filled crash. “Death of a Curse” continues to play on this darker approach and I think is the track where the band’s true potential shines through. A slow brooding track, “Death of a Curse” is the most complete track on the album and really brings out a more focused, deeper side of the band that is the other four tracks only show hints of.

“Monolith” serves well as the albums closing track and is full of rich bassy distortion guitar combined with arching crescendos in the distant beyond of the mix. In the closing moments the guitar work really breaks free and goes off on a tangent, offering a glimpse of what could be in the future for the band. To be perfectly honest the first time I heard the closing minute of this album I was really disappointed that the album didn’t feature more guitar work of this style.

Overall I think that Rhone makes a really strong showing with this debut. Despite being relatively new on the scene, the band has already shared stages with the likes of fellow Chicago natives Sioum and Rocket Miner, two similarly smaller midwest bands also carving a name for themselves. The band certainly has the potential to succeed in the genre and ‘Inter Sidera’ is definitely worth checking out in my book.

Name your price on bandcamp: http://rhonechicago.bandcamp.com/

Rhone’s facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/rhoneband