Review Summary: Don’t wait for the future of post-rock – it’s already here.
Mogwai, God is an Astronaut, Tristeza, Mono, Explosions in the Sky - you name it, if you’re a fan of post-rock chances are you’ve heard of at least one of these bands. There’s an even bigger chance you actually like a few of them. But if you look past the beauty, sophistication and small intricacies that define them, you will soon realise that almost all are clones of each other, each taking notes from the distinctiveness of another and combining it with ideas of their own. This vicious cycle of give and take has resulted in a genre that lacks individuality and has grown stale to the ears of even the most committed and supportive post-rock fans.
But somewhere out in the Swiss mountains, a small 5-piece ensemble known as The Evpatoria Report were making music that had yet to be touched. Sure, they are not without their influences but they sure as hell gave critics of the genre something to think about. Their first demo was released in 2003 but only hinted at what was to come. With their first full-length album Golevka
, the Evpatoria Report took post-rock to new levels yet to be reached by many of the above-mentioned maestros of the genre.
Yet at times it can appear uncertain as to how they have managed to achieve such a feat – on the surface it sounds as though they have simply pulled the exact same ploy as the others, and borrowed heavily from their contemporaries. But there is just that ‘something’ about it that has you hooked from the very beginning. Just listen to the opening few minutes of Prognoz
– you are immediately captivated with a desperate desire to find out what comes next, how the track is going to reach its inevitable climax. And it does, just three and a half minutes in, only to fade out and reveal one of the most breathtaking, yet uncomplicated pieces of guitar-work, with an atmosphere that pulls you deep into a white cloud of beauty. Or how about the album’s masterstroke in Taijin Kyofusho
with its dense guitars and ambient keyboards providing a stunning contrast between heavy and minimalist harmonies. The song is not only the best on the album but one of the best post-rock songs ever recorded. And while that may seem like a bold statement to some, there is undeniable originality here and atmosphere far beyond what has been achieved by many of their habitually pretentious peers.
Even though the album does admittedly lose a little focus from that point onwards there are no weak tracks here. You will not be bored or able to predict what comes next – Cosmic Call
will work majestic splendour around its basic guitar riff, Optimal Region Selector
will daze with its keys and Dipole Experiment
will sum the whole album up in just eleven and a half minutes. In short, while it is clear that there is not complete innovation or technicality here, The Evpatoria Report do things their way and ultimately come out sounding like an entirely different being from the rest. Don’t wait for the future of post-rock – it’s already here.