Post-rock is perhaps one of the most experiential styles almost by definition, featuring large, sprawling song structures guided by somewhat traditional “rock” textures but where really only your imagination is the limit.
“Dreams” by The Escape Agency
The San Francisco Bay area intense art rock outfit known as The Escape Agency produce engaging tunes that combine a number of familiar flourishes and add their own touch to make something that feels special. On “Dreams” off their Demo 2k17 release, the band deliver a somewhat straightforward, refreshing dose of chill intensity like a tidal wave the listener can step into without fear of getting upended or “hurt”. The quickly intense music chills out more directly around the middle before building up into a grand finale packed with even some speed and cacophony that eventually give way to reveal a peaceful ending in which everyone — for all intents and purposes — is still standing.
The band have transformed some of the massive sounds of post-rock and post-metal that normally sprawl out in easily huge, intense song structures into material that while maintaining the emotional weight, feels at least somewhat more direct and able to be held close to the heart. It’s an everyday kind of music that feels well-suited to digging into anywhere from sitting intently with your headphones to going about your daily routine. The substantive emotional breadth is impressive.
Listen to a good quality live recording of the song below and follow the band on Facebook.
Wolf Blood’s “Lesion”
Minnesota’s Wolf Blood go darker. Kicking off their 2019 album II with “Lesion,” the band deliver immediately-sped up sonic intensity drenched in earthy tones that gives their music a feel of rising from the earth in rage. This band do sport prominent vocals that in this case, feel taken right from some kind of classic doom-drenched heavy metal band conducting some kind of secret woods ritual that we tell the outsiders never actually happens. (Sshhh)
On “Lesion” as elsewhere in their work, the powerful music Wolf Blood play really gets a chance to shine, with plenty of time without the vocals to enjoy these catchy but immensely powerful riffs that feel like long-forgotten spirits with a grudge against each other coming to settle their scores at the site of that woods ritual. Dullness that sometimes goes along with humanity has been set aside — there are only epic highlights of a poignant, not particularly “pretty” battle here. The energetic effect quickly grows on you and feels somewhat irresistible, stopping along the wayside just long enough to grab you and throw you into the mix.
Listen to “Lesion” below and follow the band on Facebook
“Mouth Breather” from Fear & Miss Trust
On their 2019 EP Nothing to Lose, Utah band Fear & Miss Trust quickly funnel the instrumental intensity of post-rock into some catchy song structures where while immersing in the thin but solidly progressing river of sound they’ve created, one encounters some super heavy riffing that feels drawn from some kind of progressive metal band. Did you know you could be listening to the same band and go from feeling the intensity of a post-metal wall of sound into feeling everything come crashing down like in a familiar (but interesting) rock and metal breakdown? Now you do.
The band don’t at all overdo it, only using the extra garnishes to add direction to their overall very alluring painting of traveling through some possibly precarious, metaphorical underbrush without knowing exactly what’s on the other side. The “main point” of what they’re doing at moments like the EP’s opening track “Mouth Breather” feels like it rests squarely with the epic ambitions they seem to set out for themselves. Intense waves of emotionally stirring music come rolling in — in other words, the gang’s all here, and it’s great. The band don’t feel overwhelming with their decision making about what exactly lies along the path their 2019 EP charts. In other words, they don’t feel decidedly loss or sadness or even happiness driven. They light a way clearly packed with interest but that it’s up to you to follow.
Check out their work below and follow the band on Facebook