Where has all the post-rock gone? I’d be willing to be we will soon look back on the early/mid 2000’s as the golden-age of genre that had little chance of becoming popular. With its obscenely long songs and few-and-far-between lyrics and vocals, it does seem like quite a miracle that bands like Explosions in the Sky and Mogwai ever got to quit the day jobs. But maybe the fact that they were the antithesis of radio-pop’s 2.5 minute formulaic entries could be a reason for their success.
Kansas’ The Appleseed Cast are one of the forebearer’s of America’s post-rock wave. Having been to their hometown of Lawrence, KS, I can totally empathize with the solemnity of their music. On the uncommon occasion when vocals do enter the fray, one can never tell if the melodies are signs of triumphant victory or helpless exasperation. The jangly guitars are often soaked in healthy doses of reverb and delay, perhaps mirroring the expansiveness of their homeland.
I have a playlist on my computer of songs that I enjoy at times when I’m too tired to focus on words, intricate drumming, or anything really. This playlist features endless minor chords, chorus and string swells, and a consistent, wounded tone. The Appleseed Cast’s album Sagarmartha is on this list in its entirety. Its lead-off track “As The Little Things Go” is the perfect soundtrack to laying flat on your back on your bed, staring at your ceiling, and considering past defeats and future victories. But the hidden hopefulness of the music always reminds me that things could be worse- I could live in Kansas. Ha!