Yes, I am a Tornado Chaser

Yes, I am a Tornado Chaser

This week we start another regular column at The Chaser, breaking down the wholly unnecessary sub-genres of music. I know this stuff is basically pointless hair-splitting among record geeks that have nothing better to do, but that’s pretty much what I am. Get used to it.

Yes, I am a Tornado Chaser’s Guide to Obscure Music Genres
Volume One – Post-Rock

Post-rock is a sub-genre of rock music that characterizes bands who use traditional rock instruments in non-traditional ways. Post-rock bands generally play songs much longer than pop songs and without the conventional structure (verse/chorus/verse) of pop songs. Guitars are more often used as textural instruments as opposed to the lead instrument. Another trait of the genre is the lack of vocals. Most bands are either entirely or largely instrumental.

The term first appeared in the early 1990s as a description for a handful of sparse rock bands, most notably Slint and Cul de Sac. In the mid 1990s, bands like Tortoise, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and Mogwai came to typify the genre, though all three bands sound markedly different. By the end of the 1990s, post-rock had become the catch-all term for any band embracing experimental and instrumental sounds. The genre became increasingly harder to define. Because of this, many bands stopped using the term. The critics soon followed suit, and many bands that would once have fit nicely in the genre (Explosions in the Sky for example) are now described as atmospheric or cinematic, while post-rock is used less and less.

The over-saturation of post-rock grouping has led to several sub-genres of post-rock itself, including post-metal and new-prog. For more on post-rock, check the wiki:

The Tornado’s recommended top-ten starter kit for instrumental post-rock.

Godspeed You Black Emperor! – Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven

Tortoise – TNT

Mogwai – Young Team

Explosions in the Sky – The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place

Do Make Say Think – & Yet & Yet

Tenebre – In Everything Give Thanks

Grails – The Burden of Hope

Bell Orchestra – Recording a Tape the Colour of the Light

Red Sparrows – At the Soundless Dawn

Pelican – The Fire in our Throats will Beckon the Thaw