After only sporadically listening to instrumental post-rock, I recently got quite addicted to this marvelous genre. As a matter of fact, I happened to stumble upon the sampler A Cheery Wave From Stranded Youngsters 2 some day and since then I’ve been constantly discovering one band after the other. Trust me, this sampler is one huge argument against the brainless “post-rock sounds all the same, anyway”! My starting point was the 5 piece from Leeds, Vessels, as I had the pleasure to see them live as opening act for Oceansize on their last tour (RIP). This bands mixture of heavy guitars with jazz and math rock is incredible. The guys really manage to create a sound of their own. Their latest album Helioscope (2011) directly goes to your brain’s pleasure centre. (I just realised that I missed their current European tour…bugger!)
Naming one favourite band off this sampler is quite impossible. MinionTV is my secret favourite though. Imagine getting up early in the morning, walking barefoot through wet grass in an unspoiled countryside and suddenly witnessing the perfect sunrise. Their selftitled album would make a perfekt soundtrack for a movie called “Beautiful“. If you like This Will Destroy You’s selftitled album, MinionTV certainly is the band to go for.
I guess I don’t have to mention how terrific Maybeshewill are. They’ve just released their grandiose new album I Was Here For A Moment, Then I Was Gone.
Orders Of The British Empire’s music goes somewhat in the same direction as Maybeshewill’s. They use some electronic bits and pieces here and there and very fittingly incorporate some text samples as well. The band’s sound nevertheless is very distinct. What sticks out the most is the focus on the drums. At least to me the super dry, almost ‚clicking’ sound of the drums (reminds me a bit of Portnoy’s sound on Dream Theater’s Train Of Thought) is very prominent in the mix of their latest and second – and terrific - EP Act Two.
An altogether different approach is followed by Kasper Rosa. The compositions are more complex and progressive, incorporating various styles and genres, from alternative to psychedelic and even blues. Especially their psychedelic guitar solos are breathtaking, mostly toping intense and dynamic buildups. I especially like their sudden but organic changes of mood from ethereal soundscapes to rocking and sometimes even heavy guitar riffs. I truly love the band’s second EP.
Heavy and dark guitar riffs are at home in Bleaklow’s compositions. The sound of this 3 piece from Sheffield reminds me very much of bands such as Isis and Pelican, or more recently Long Distance Calling - very energetic and at times super heavy. Quite the opposite of MinionTV, but superb nonetheless.
One can only wonder how on earth England manages to bring forth such a huge amount of quality post-rock bands! (I haven’t even mentioned Overhead, The Albatross. They’re not on the sampler but they’re great as well. Be sure to check them out, too!) I’m very much looking forward to the next Stranded Youngsters sampler!