Years Of Rice And Salt, and Post-Rock’s Beautiful Quandary

Post-Rock: the strange, febrile cousin of Rock ‘n’ Roll. I’ve pondered on its relevance before without really coming to a conclusion. Initially, I put this indecision down to sheer flightiness, but have now realised that this non-committal wandering is actually quite post-rock in itself.

You see, the genre is wrapped in a quandary fully formed by its very existence. Post rock takes the guitar/drums/bass template of every rock band and stretches it into a wider, distressed, more distorted being. And this is both its downfall and its saving grace.

Here’s the one accusation most often levelled at Post-rock: that it all sounds the same: overlong, unstructured and self-indulgent. The truth, I think, is that all these complaints are valid; and also that these traits are actually the point.

So yes, some of Years Of Rice and Salt’s songs are reminiscent of other post-rock outfits’. Similarly, all of Boards Of Canada‘s albums sound virtually identical, and I love them for it: creating one sound, and repeating it, pulsing it and nurturing that one feeling on and on, not allowing it to drop or end.

Years of Rice and Salt // Occasional Flashes Of Warmth

Thus, YORAS‘s songs should sound almost just as you’d imagine, by definition, and for good reason. A song like  Occasional Flashes Of Warmth might not stun you with novelty (as such), but if that’s what you’re looking for, then go and dive into a pile of Captain Beefheart albums.

These songs are supposed to invoke feelings, create situations and breathe life into your daydreams, not pull up trees and punch you on the nose. YORAS use their defined palette of sound and attack with all the trickery and skill that they have learned. It works, and you’ll be grateful.

*Sorry there was no new band yesterday: these last few days have been brightened by broken bones and various illnesses. I’m better now, honest.

3 thoughts on “Years Of Rice And Salt, and Post-Rock’s Beautiful Quandary

  1. It’s good for night time or quite mornings. Relaxing as are the lyrics and droning howl of the distorted guitars. Cool change at about 6:30. Really cool little ditty that could have came earlier. For the avid fan/listener things may be different regarding the length of the song. Personally, i thought the ending of the song was melodramatic, a quality i thought did little to give a since of conclusion to the song. Overall, I’m happier that i heard the song than didn’t.

  2. Agree with Matt, nice sound to listen to round the house. Guitar phrasing certainly echoing the old 70’s prog rockers a la early Wishbone Ash with vocals reminiscent of Crosby Stills Nash and Young. Liked the repetitive effect, works here, don’t think change every 30secs necessary to produce a result. May listen to it again.

  3. Thanks for your thoughts – I’m not a connoisseur of post-rock (I’ve got the odd Mogwai and Battles album), but I do find it fascinating to see what it is that people find enjoyable in the songs. Post-rock seems to be as much about texture as tunesmithery (NB: this might not be a real word).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *