I have seriously got into the Post Rock / Math Rock scene and this is the thread to appreciate such music. Here is an adaptation of ProgArchives.com definition of the genre
“The term post-rock was coined by Simon Reynolds in issue 123 of The Wire (May 1994) to describe a sort of music "using rock instrumentation for non-rock purposes, using guitars as facilitators of timbres and textures rather than riffs and power chords."
As with many musical genres, the term is arguably inadequate: it is used for the music of Tortoise as well as that of Mogwai, two bands who have very little in common besides the fact that their music is largely instrumental.
The aforementioned Tortoise was among the founders of the movement. After the second Tortoise LP Millions Now Living Will Never Die, the band became a post-rock icon. After Millions... many bands (e.g., Do Make Say Think) began to record, inspired by the "Tortoise-sound" and were often described as post-rock.
Montreal, Quebec band Godspeed You Black Emperor! - later renamed 'Godspeed You! Black Emperor' - brought a political element with anti-globalization movement leanings.
By the early 2000s, the term had started to fall out of favour, while the major artists kept on making high quality recordings. The wide range of styles covered by the term had robbed it of its usefulness almost from the moment it was coined.
Closely related to post-rock is the genre known as Math rock, characterized by more percussive timbres, and more dissonant harmonic gestures.
Math Rock is a genre that emerged in the late 80's and is characterized by complex structures, angular melodies and constant abrupt changes in tempo and time signature. The name Math Rock is a term that grew out of the Chicago scene and the artists working with engineer Steve Albini in an effort to describe the new style.
The basic building blocks of Post and Math Rock can be traced back to the late 60's and 70's where Progressive Rock artists were making more elaborate compositions than the standard rock bands and were experimenting with song structures. Punk also had significant impact on the sound of Math Rock bands. Other notable influences are: Post-Rock, Heavy Metal, and Jazz.”
So it is a real melting pot, but the common factor is that it is primarily instrumental, progressive music.
My first post rock experience was with Mogwai, the Scottish band who major on distorted slow fast guitar lead instrumental. Then I found Tortoise and their album TNT, which I bought brand new in its cellophane for 10p at a jumble sale. It the best 10p I have ever spent.
Most of my favourites are the US bands such as Unwed Sailor, Maserati, The Album Leaf, El Ten Eleven and Grails who I saw live recently.
Edited by Prog Rock Man - 5/26/10 at 8:50am