Whenever I listen to a post-rock album for the first time I never instantly enjoy it. Take some of the genres most critically acclaimed albums, GYBE’s Skiny Fists...
, Sigur Ros’ ()
and Slints Spiderland
take a great amount of time to get into. If you have the patience listening to these albums can be quite a rewarding experience, but I’m a busy man and just don’t have that kind of time. After listening to many post-rock albums I wanted to get into something right away without investing hours and hours of precious time into the album just so it would grow on me.
Fortunately for me I stumbled upon Port Royals Flares
. Unlike many other ambient/post-rock albums Flares
caught my attention from the get go. Calming keyboard soundscapes, soothing beats, and hypnotic guitar lines are all found throughout Flares
giving the listener a very relaxing experience. The organic production benefits the music as it creates vivid imagery, every instrument meshes together creating a trance inducing sound.
Port Royals sound hints towards the more ambient side of post-rock since their music is more keyboard oriented. Zobione pts 1, 2, and 3
all surround the listener with various keyboard tones and soothing samples. It’s evident that the group takes obvious influences from ambient pioneers such as Tangerine Dream and Brian Eno. Flares pts 1, 2, and 3
are completely different from the whole Zobione series. Rather then entrancing the listener with keyboards “Flares” features epic buildups and hard hitting guitar parts. Flares pt. 2
contains trip-hop influenced beats along with crashing guitars and haunting piano chords. It’s not exactly a unique or interesting sound but music slowly builds up and ends with a bang. For me the highlight of the album is the eleven minute Spetsnaz / Paul Leni
, this tune nearly goes from crunchy, danceable beats to gloomy keyboard orchestrations. Besides G!YBE I’ve never heard a post-rock group switch moods so quickly without the transfer being abrupt or distracting.
may not be a genre defying album but it represents the ambient/post-rock genre extremely well. Musically Port Royal are kind of like a combination of Brian Eno (during is moody ambient phase) and Explosions in the Sky. Throw in some hypnotic trip-hop beats and samples and you’ve got Port Royals Flares
. Any fan of post-rock or ambient will definitely enjoy this album.