If done right, post-rock can take you to a truly higher level of consciousness.
No, not really. There are plenty of great post-rock bands in Asia that can be emotionally moving, though.
But if you know the term 'post-rock', chances are you may know what's in store for you. You may even know what a 'crescendo' is. Nonetheless, post-rock features mainly cascading guitars that can either evoke sweeping melodies or devastating rhythms, along with meditative songwriting that's greatly inspired by classical music, ambient, jazz, and ethnic music. Post-rock started out a bit differently, with this as a prime example, but with the timeless influence of bands like Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Mogwai, post-rock has shaped to be a different monster but no less restrictive.
Here are five such bands in Asia that pretty much rule, from the veterans to the prominent up-and-comers.
Ah, we all know MONO. If you ever want to stare wistfully out the window and pretend you’re in a film (which all of us want once in awhile), their grand cinematic soundscapes will suit you very well. The band effortlessly blends experimental post-rock with interesting classical and shoegaze elements to create its intense and poignant characteristic sound. Switching seamlessly between the majestic and the minimalistic, their songs provide the perfect soundtrack for emotional catharsis. You don’t even need the rain or a broken heart!
This instrumental band’s varied tracks have their fair share of epic riffs, and cleanly interlocking melodies, coming together above rousing drums to form the dark heavy energy that ties their sound together. Although South Korea's Modsdive is a pretty new band, they already have one kickass album to their name, “The Stasis of Humanity”. With these guys as a soundtrack, forget cutesy K-pop, get some shades, and never look back:
Groovy basslines, gritty distortion and creative drum sequences, all melded into one inventive arrangement that is sometimes dangerously badass, sometimes poignantly wistful. Scattered within the tracks of Reset to Zilch's album A Phantasm; Antithetical are clips of a speech, containing provocative and rather disturbing calls to action and uncomfortable doubt. With this poetic enhancement to their already emotive sound, the Malaysian quartet’s album offers an overwhelming and profound experience.
A fairly popular band in the underground rock scene of Thailand, Inspirative offers a gentle serenade with their calming and ruminative lull of instrumentals. Echoey chord progressions and lilting guitar lines flow into a tender, ambient river of sound that is perfect for relaxing with after a long day. Starting as a solo project by guitarist Noppanan Panicharoen, it grew into a quintet two years later, giving it the expansive sound they are known for today.
Their intricate drum patterns, and interestingly incongruent but catchy guitar and bass lines fuse in charming harmony. Despite the tricky weaving of instrumentation, OVUM is super solid live, and the tightness of their performances brings out the clear precision of the Japanese band's sound, and the calculated order within the rich amalgam.