Most people that know me know I have a deep love for all things heavy metal. No, not like Judas Priest or AC/DC or fucking Five Finger Death Punch — those guys aren’t really my cup of tea. I’m talking bands like Lamb of God, Revocation, Isis, Mastodon, Gojira, etc. I LOVE this music, man. I don’t mean to sound overly dramatic here, but I like to think it’s the music that has saved my life. That’s powerful stuff, right?
That being said, lately I have found myself downloading more and more post-rock and post-metal type stuff, more so the former of the two. Post-rock, for those who don’t know, is “a subgenre of rock music characterized by the influence and use of instruments commonly associated with rock, but using rhythms and guitars as facilitators of timbre and textures not traditionally found in rock. Post-rock bands are often without vocals.” In simpler terms, post-rock is a genre defined by beautiful, instrumental music, oftentimes lasting longer than your typical four-to-five minute song structure. I have tried so hard to turn people onto this style of music; I personally believe it’s the most relaxing, thought-provoking aural medium out there. Sadly, however, most people don’t haven’t given it the time of day. Now, to those of you wondering, YES, of course I still love metal and all of its crazy subgenres, but there’s something about this kind of music that reaches into my skull and gently caresses my brain. It’s like listening to a gently flowing stream, the crashing waves on an empty beach, the passionate love-making of your upstairs neighb– Wait, maybe not the last one.
I suppose the reason I’m writing this blog post today is so A) I can stop spamming your Facebook feeds with individual songs that very few people even see and B) I can share with you the glory of this genre in one central location. If you ever need your post-rock fix, you can always start here. I’m willing to accept the blog traffic so that everyone can be enlightened by the noise. Now, without further ado, here are some of my favorite tracks to get you started on your musical journey.
1) Russian Circles – “Philos” – I listen to this song EVERY DAY to unwind, relax, and dwell on everything that happened in the previous hours. It’s my meditation song, if you will.
2) Deadhorse – “The Long Rain” – I actually just learned about these guys last week and have listened to this song everyday since. There’s something oddly calming about this one, just like “Philos,” only with this one I get a bit of a sadder vibe. It reminds me of long car trips in the rain when I was young. I would sit in the backseat and just stare out the window as my parents argued up front. As I looked through the blurry raindrops, I watched the world zip by at seventy miles an hour, never truly able to take in my surroundings.
3) This Will Destroy You – “Threads” – I can’t really explain why, but every time I hear this song I’m taken back to my childhood. Swimming in my grandparents’ pool. Kicking piles of leaves in the backyard. Staying outside until the streetlights illuminated the low income houses. Climbing the “rock hill” and running around in the grassy field at the top. I miss it.
4) HARM LESS – “Due for a Living” – This one doesn’t really remind me of much, it just makes me smile.
5) We Lost the Sea – “Challenger, pt. 1 and pt. 2” – A very long, two-part song that tells the story of the Challenger disaster (at least that’s what I get out of it). The only words in the song are from William Burroughs about space travel in the beginning and from Ronald Reagan about the disaster at the end. It’s a very, very powerful track if you have the time to listen to it. [Note: Use the forward arrow to skip to part two of “Challenger” (it should automatically play if you listen to the first part all the way through). I recommend listening to the whole damn album, but, ya know, the last two songs are the topic of discussion.]
6) Mogwai – “Auto Rock” – I’m adding this one because it’s actually a very popular post-rock song and has been used in movie trailers a couple of times, I do believe. It’s also the very first post-rock song I ever listened to a long time ago and while it didn’t turn me onto the genre in the beginning, it certainly has always remained with me. Oh, and it’s the only song I know how to really play on a piano, so that’s neat.