Ian L

Twin Cities based listener, reviewer, sharer, and enthusiast of post-rock and the various forms it comes in. A blog about this kinda stuff should probably have “post” in the name.

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Off Brand Products No. 1

So, obviously I’m a human and I like a variety of human things. Those human things happen to include music that extends beyond the intended scope of certain blogs that certain humans may have started which pertain to a certain genre of music.

Here is that run-on sentence explained without using the words “human” or “certain”: Off Brand Products is a segment where I review things that may only be tangentially related to post-rock. I’ve got a few of these in the works, but I figured I’d start with something not too incredibly far from home base. Sometimes it’ll only be a little related, or in this case, fairly well related, but also containing some things that aren’t exactly post-rock. This segment could be anything, and if I’m taking the time to write about it, I do honestly think it’s worth checking out. Also, it’ll never be poetry. (Unless it’s some really good poetry.) So lay that...

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Review: Nuet - Dorena


Band: Dorena

Album: Nuet

Label: Deep Elm Records

Released: March 2013

My whole life I’ve been chronically late to the party, and I make no bold claims to being a tastemaker. Even so, I try to keep the reviews I write within six months or so of an album’s release. There is a lot of new post-rock out there, though, so I’m bound to miss things. So I assure you that when I post a review for something that is over a year old, I consider it to be worth both my, and more importantly, your time if you haven’t heard it already.

The opening track, “Semper”, is a melancholic, shoegazy number with spindly guitars, ambient electronic elements, and breathy vocals. Dorena’s use of electronic music in their songs is brought front and center on the second track, “Her Comforting Touch”. This is where the album is most likely fully catch the listener’s attention. A quizzical chiptune-esque motif...

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Review: Red Giant - Barrows

Barrows - Red Giant.jpg

Band: Barrows

Album: Red Giant

Label: Self-released

Released: May 2014

I’m a big fan of concept albums, astronomy, and post-rock. Los Angeles based post-rock band, Barrows, has released a concept album about the death of a star. That said, I’m unsure if it’s ethically responsible for me to promote this record. I mean, it feels like they’ve created this album specifically to cater to 11 year-old me. Is it right to encourage and reward such blatant pandering…?

Whatever. I’m going to.

Red Giant begins with “Nebula”. Swirling white noise builds into a slow burning, psychedelic track that some, more impatient, listeners may find a bit too slow. But, to be fair, stars take a long time to form. They should be grateful the four-piece have condensed a process that takes hundreds of millions of years to occur to under an hour. Those who do stick around do not go unrewarded. The second...

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Review: The Return South - The Return South

The Return South.jpg

Band: The Return South

Album: The Return South

Label: Unsigned

Release Date: February 18, 2014

There are some genres that just simply resist fusing themselves with post-rock. Surely metal is not one of them, and electronic music melds nicely. However, if you were to tell me I’d be writing a review for a band that fuses the above mentioned genres, plus Motown, soul, southern rock, and funk with post-rock, I’d be skeptical at best. But if a band lists both Messhugah and Stevie Wonder under their influences, well…

It’s rewarding to keep an open mind.

The Return South’s self titled debut sits comfortably (or perhaps uncomfortably for some) at the intersection of prog and post-rock, but separates itself by mostly shying away from the former’s emphasis on needless wankery instrument virtuosity. The reward is tight, thought out composition, and a genre-bending cornucopia of sounds that...

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Avant-garde-neo-sludge-neu-post-jazz-John-Cage-core-step. (A discussion on genre.)

So… friends… I think it’s time we had “the talk”.

I’m in the process of writing a review for an album which, admittedly, some may not consider “post-rock”. I’m sorry. But at the same time, I’m not too terribly sorry, because it brings up a question that I’m constantly being asked. That question is:

“What the hell is post-rock?”

Oof da. I don’t even know where to begin… Sometimes I think it might be easier for me to just carry around a projector and Power Point presentation where ever I go. It would certainly save me a lot of trouble, because I get ambushed by this question a lot. And if I had a nickel for every time a middle-aged woman listened to me try to describe Explosions in the Sky’s music and responded with, “Oh! I love post-rock then, I still have all of my Enya and Yanni CD’s from the 90’s”… Well, I’d probably have enough nickels for a soda, but that’s still a good handful of...

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The Big List o’ Reviews

More of a practice in housekeeping than an actual blog post, this is a list of reviews that I’ve posted so far here on PostInTheName. It will updated whenever a new review is posted. The newest reviews will be posted at the bottom.

Reviews so far:

Moonlit Sailor - WCfES.jpg
Moonlit Sailor - We Come From Exploding Stars

Semblance - Quotes EP

Audrey Fall - Mitau

Rocket Miner - Elegy

The Return South.jpg
The Return South - The Return South

Barrows - Red Giant.jpg
Barrows - Red Giant

Dorena - Nuet

Deep Elm Records Sampler No. 12 - “Sometimes I See You In The Stars”

Nomia - Iron and Rust

I/O - Saudade

Sonder - Hanan.jpg
Hanan - Sonder

Tower - Falcon Arrow.jpg
Falcon Arrow - Tower

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Review: Elegy - Rocket Miner


Artist: Rocket Miner

Album: Elegy

Label: Shunu Records

Release Date: February 25, 2014

Coming from the same city that’s home to two post-metal heavy hitters, Russian Circles and Pelican, Chicago’s Rocket Miner have carved a decidedly non-metal niche for themselves within the scene. Their new record, Elegy, is drenched in a shoegazy aesthetic. Solid, but honest production, heavy fuzz, and spindly, clean guitars offer something a little on the lighter side of the genre. I should emphasize, though: a little. This album still rips, and it is by no means quiet.

Perfect examples of this are “And They Can Never Truly Die”, “Captures (The Day)” and the hardest hitting track on the record, “War Room”. From start to finish, the track just absolutely pummels you with sound. All of this cacophony is followed by “Jejune”; a plodding, contemplative track that leads into “Memories Are All We...

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Review: Mitau - Audrey Fall


Artist: Audrey Fall

Album: Mitau

Label: Unsigned

Release Date: January 14, 2014

When it comes to post-rock, it’s difficult to say there are any certain geographical hotbeds. Certainly Texas has spawned two giants with Explosions in the Sky and This Will Destroy You. Chicago seems to be conducive to producing killer post-metal with Russian Circles and Pelican. Scotland is probably happy they only have to put up with one loud ass Mogwai. Japan has MONO (the band). Sigur Ros have their own little volcanic island as well. However, some countries just seem further from mind when you think of the genre. Well, shame on us.

Hailing from Jelgava, Latvia, (yes, Latvia) four piece Audrey Fall, currently unsigned, have just released their debut album, Mitau.

And it is phenomenal.

There are just so many things done absolutely right on this record that it’s hard to name them all. From the...

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My filthy pedigree.

This was originally part of my next review, but after thinking about it for a brief second, I (thankfully) came to the conclusion that the Internet (the portion of it that would come to read a review of a new album, anyway) really just couldn’t care less about what I listened to as a teenager/early twenty-something. Plus, it would have gone well over my self imposed 500 word limit for reviews. However, I’m posting it as a separate post because I felt it did bring up a good point as far as where I’m coming from when I’m writing my reviews.

The last time I went all total gooey schoolgirl over an album, it was last years Sunbather by Deafheaven. Before that, it was Empros by Russian Circles. Prior to that, A Determinism of Morality by Rosetta was my main jam. Previous to that, I was dead set on purchasing a pedal steel guitar because I loved Every Red Heart Shines Toward The Red Sun by Red...

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Review: Quotes EP - Semblance


Artist: Semblance

Album: Quotes EP

Label: Unsigned

Release Date: Available Now

There is something to be said about reinventing the wheel. And that is, honestly, maybe you don’t need to. Given you’re fully capable of producing a really good wheel in the first place, that is. That’s exactly what Oklahoma City’s Semblance have done with their debut release, the Quotes EP.

The five piece borrow heavily from their influences, which include such mainstays of the scene as Explosions in the Sky and Caspian. But if imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery, Quotes would make Texas four piece This Will Destroy You blush. If you’re a fan of TWDY, and still waiting for a new studio album to follow up 2011’s Tunnel Blanket, OKC’s Semblance might definitely be something worth checking out to tide you over in the meantime.

It’s a fair statement to say of the 5 songs on the 27 minute...

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