The Post-Rock Bands from the 90s – 2018.

If one asks the younger generation of Post-Rock lovers who did not grow up with the music from back then, which bands introduced them to the genre, most answers include bands such as ‘Godspeed You! Black Emperor’, ‘Explosions in the Sky’, ‘Mogwai’ and ‘Sigur Rós’.  All these bands were founded between the mid and late 90’s and they are very active still. Apart from their general fame, there is nothing that really connects these bands on a musical level. Some sound grim and heavy, others are light as a feathers and „Hopelandic“ ( a constructed language, shaped by ‘Sigur Rós’ singer Jónsi, which is the only language designed for emotional tones), some are from the USA and Canada, others from Europe. Besides their long existence, the one thing all these bands have in common is the fact that they handle various influences of instruments and genres, in order to create their own unique style.

New Post-Rock Bands were inspired by the ‚grandparents’

The longevity of these four bands may be the pillar of modern Post-Rock. All groups that grew up with the ‚grandparents’ of Post-Rock themselves, have summarized and development these musical currents. New bands were founded worldwide, took inspiration at what ‘GY!BE’ und ‘Explosions in the Sky’ did, found their own style of music and thus influenced new bands and so on. Thanks to the digitalisation of our world, it is possible to share ones bigger and smaller creations with like-minded people from all over the world, to get feedback and to collaborate over thousands of kilometres. Due to this, Post-Rock could grow steadily within the Pop Culture, and now contains countless bands, which no longer sound like their representatives of the past.

Best Post Rock Bands

The number of Post-Rock Bands rapidly increased since the millenium years

But this is only one side of the coin. While the rapidly growing number of new bands delights fans of emotional music, others criticise that there is hardly one band that manages to become unique and to stand out of the masses. A legitimate objection that may be caused by today’s easily accessible world of music. There is no melody that has not been played before, there is no instrument that hasn’t been misused and since most bands do not use any vocals, there are only a few voices that can excel positively. Nevertheless, there are some bands who stand out: either because they succeeded in bringing out something new of the ‚typical’ instrumental Post-Rock, or because they established connections to other genres and discovered new niches. A perfect example for the former, is the American Band Caspian from Massachusetts. Without ever consciously focusing on the Post-Rock Genre, the band of six has been playing instrumental music (with a little bit of vocals) for the last 10 years. Their music is highly emotional, but also down to earth and somewhat natural. With the use of various effects of piano, keyboard, upper strings and winds, they create a musical short story with every song. As their album ‘Dust and Disquiet’ proves, they can be gentle and quiet, violent and loud, which is referred to as Crescendo-Core.

Best Post Rock Bands

Post-Rock Bands nowadays

Nowadays, Post-Rock is so much more than Simon Reynold’s definition. Post-Rock is a culture, a musical way of living and is home to a variety of versions and subgenres. This makes it even more difficult to fit Post-Rock into boxes, than it used to be 20 years earlier. There is Post-Hardcore, which has long evolved from what ‘Slint’ sounded like back then, there is Post-Metal, based on harder, more violent tones, there is Post-Black-Metal, mostly mixed with Shoegaze, then called Blackgaze and so forth.

It’s simply instrumental music tagged as ‚Post-Rock’

What most bands of this generation have in common, is the fact that they did not plan on playing Post-Rock music. In the digital world we live in, a band that simply plays instrumental rock music, that uploads their music to the internet will suddenly be provided with a ‚Post-Rock’ tag by fans and critics. On the one hand side, nobody likes to have his works attached with insignificant, general attributes, but on the other hand, these categories and boxes enable a kind of snowball system that gives us the opportunity to discover new music.

Post Rock Playlists on Spotify

Let’s take the music streaming-service ‘Spotify’ as an example. Now and then, ‘Spotify’ provides us with new Playlists that contain songs, based on different genres or moods. The Playlist ’Deep Focus’ has over 1,7 million followers and contains bands, such as ‘Collapse Under The Empire’, ‘Lights and Motion’, ‘Explosions in the Sky’ and ‘The End Of The Ocean’; bands that are generally summed up under the genre of Post-Rock. When taking a look at these bands on ‘bandcamp’, or when reading reviews in magazines, it becomes apparent that all these bands are not only referred to as ‘Post-Rock’, but also as ‘Cinematic’ and ‘Soundscape’. None of these bands sound like the other and yet they all have similar influences and characteristics. By tagging them with exactly these insignificant and general attributes, the consumer is given the chance to discover more and more amazing bands. Regarding it from this perspective, boxes do have their advantages after all.