minty901
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04.28.13 Emo Recs?10.31.12 British Alt/post-hardcore Recs?
10.27.12 25 Pounds Itunes Voucher. Recs?04.30.12 Definitive Post-rock

Definitive Post-rock

Quite often there are requests for post-rock recs. People are interested in the genre but don't know where to begin. Or, people want to understand where the genre came from, wanting to learn about the history and influences behind more recent post-rock. Usually the recs include long lists of each commenter's personal favourite, and it's hard to know what to pick out. This is a list of the bare essential albums. Those genre-defining oldies, those modern classics, and those albums considered seminal in defining each new movement for the genre. This list isn't comprehensive, and doesn't include all of the deep cuts that many people might identify as their favourite post-rock album. But if you're new to the genre, this should help you with what to look for to learn more about it. This isn't a list of my personal favourites. This is more of an overview of the genre, and there are some real classics that are definitely worth checking out.
1Slint
Spiderland


(1991) Spiderland is often regarded as one of the best albums of the 90's. It's intense, dark and at times aggressive. It was experimental for its time, featuring spoken-word sections, unpredictable song structures and powerful rock outbursts. Vocals are prevalent.
2Talk Talk
Laughing Stock


(1991) Though identified as being one of the more significant albums in the history of post-rock, Laughing Stock actually shared very little in common with Spiderland with regards to its sound. Although it's similar in its wandering song structures and experimental approaches, Laughing Stock is much more ambient and jazz-oriented than Spiderland, favouring melody over dissonance. Vocals are prevalent.
3Bark Psychosis
Hex


(1994) Bark Psychosis owe a lot of their sound to Talk Talk. Though the influence is clear, Bark Psychosis expanded on the blueprint laid down by their predecessors, with an even greater command of misty, dark ambiance. This album paints a wonderful soundscape. Vocals are prevalent.
4Tortoise
Millions Now Living Will Never Die


(1996) Tortoise move post-rock into the realm of instrumental, electronically-drenched experimentation. Vocals are absent.
5Mogwai
Young Team


(1997) Young Team is Mogwai's first full-length and without a doubt their most important. Young Team expands on the formula laid down by Slint in 1991, with their own take on dark, aggressive and emotionally-charged rock music. As was to become the trend, Young Team is a mostly-instrumental album, with some spoken-word samples and scattered "singing".
6Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas...


(2000) Without much doubt the band with the most critically-acclaimed career within the post-rock genre. Godspeed You! Black Emperor's music is of a very narrative, dramatic approach. Using spoken-word samples (but no sung vocals) and long stretches of ambient noise, as well as classical instrumentation, Godspeed You! Black Emperor's music is very epic in scope. F#A# could comfortably have been chosen in place of this album -- take your pick.
7Sigur Ros
( )


(2002) It might seem strange that Sigur Ros was the band to take post-rock to the masses, because their music is anything but conventional. Combining high-pitched, incoherent vocals with lush, ambient soundscapes, ( ) is a thing of beauty.
8Explosions in the Sky
The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place


(2003) The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place is the definitive post-rock album of the modern era. It is an album that spawned many clones in years to come, due to its simple and accessible approach to post-rock. Despite this, their music is still incredibly powerful; it's one of the more attractive albums of the genre. Entirely instrumental.
9God Is an Astronaut
All Is Violent, All Is Bright


(2005) Take a premise and condense all the best bits. This seems to be the approach taken by God Is an Astronaut, and it's what made them easily accessible and well-known world-wide. Their songs are, for the most part, much shorter than those of their predecessors, allowing post-rock to be experienced in more bite-sized chunks. Their music is more electronic than bands like Explosions in the Sky. Entirely instrumental.
10This Will Destroy You
Young Mountain


(2006) This Will Destroy You took the sound pioneered by Explosions in the Sky (though the band would state otherwise) and stripped it down to its basic emotional beauty. This is a recommended next-step for fans of The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place. Entirely instrumental.
11Yndi Halda
Enjoy Eternal Bliss


(2007) Enjoy Eternal Bliss remains one of the favoured albums among post-rock fans today. Explosions in the Sky with strings, to put it simply. (Almost) entirely instrumental.
12Moving Mountains
Pneuma


(2007) Though certainly not the first post-rock band to have a prominent use of vocals, Moving Mountains are exceptional in just how well they proved that post-rock could be used as a backdrop to any style of music. Pneuma is a melting pot of post-rock and emo, with a cleverly-unified theme and emotional singing.
13Mono
Hymn to the Immortal Wind


(2009) Hymn to the Immortal Wind yearns to make you weep at its beauty. It makes every possible effort to tug at your heart strings, and more often than not, it succeeds. Similar to Yndi Halda but more pensive and gradual with its builds. Entirely instrumental.
14Do Make Say Think
Other Truths


(2009) Do Make Say Think have a lot in common with earlier pioneers of post-rock, with a jazzy and somewhat immediate approach to songwriting. Perhaps the perfect blend of epic and fun. (Almost) entirely instrumental.
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