I seem to be encountering a lot more Post-Rock these days.
I’m not sure whether the nefarious era of online targeting is doing a number on me because it knows I love brooding and depressing music, or whether the market is attuning itself. After all, we’re already in an age arguably Post-Indie (thank fuck), Post-Post-Hardcore and Post-Pop-Punk. That isn’t to say there aren’t new bands (and bands gaining traction) across all of these movements, yet it’s undeniable that we’re through the looking glass of their prominence somewhat. To get to the point, then; bands taking the accepted structures affiliated with these genres and warping them are becoming more prevalent.
Now, this progression resonates with Tides of Man‘s own as a band. Their earlier work through Rise Records was very much hinging on a Post-Hardcore/Emo flavour. More recently, however, we have a much more progressive direction. Let’s just say they’re very at home on this year’s ArcTanGent lineup. This release, as with 2014’s ‘Young & Courageous’, is fully instrumental – Tides of Man haven’t employed a vocalist since 2010’s ‘Dreamhouse’, following lead singer Tillian Pearson’s leaving the band to take up the vacant clean vocal position for Dance Gavin Dance.
If you’re looking for edge-of-the-seat thrills and catchiness with the new material, then look elsewhere. That’s kind of not the point. The contemporary era of Tides of Man are very much a musicians’ band; beloved of the audiophiles, respected by the study-music adherents and observed by those with dead thick specs (like me). ‘Everything Nothing’ is more of a journey, with each track gliding in with a piece of the puzzle until it all comes back to completion. An holistic approach to Post-Rock and Ambience, if you will. The logical or familiar progressions are there, but not without a bit of wandering off the beaten track first. Look, there’s a cool shaped rock. What sort of tree is that.
‘Static Hymn’ kicks things off in an ambient fashion (think Mutiny On The Bounty, only less driving) from the get-go. It’s patient, happy to listen to the echoes before lighting another rocket – finally bursting into what I guess the EDM heads would call “the drop” just shy of the three minute mark. This sets the scene for a further eleven proggy tracks of deliberate note placement and intertwining instrumental sub-plots.
This is landscape music, a dose of modern Post-Rock in all its scale and reverberance. It almost seems incongruous to be drawing comparisons like ‘Death Is No Dread Enemy’ having the feel of a down-tempo Mouse On The Keys moment (albeit maybe a little bleaker). I’m quite content to just drive into the night with this as my soundtrack. Next step for Tides of Man? Maybe it’s time to move into less formal/standard setups on the instrumental and production front – I enjoy this because it fits the profile of other music I enjoy. What could they do if they took another step away from the box, I wonder.
‘Everything Nothing’ by Tides of Man is available to buy and stream now through A Thousand Arms.
The UK leg of Tiden of Man’s headline tour to support ‘Everything Nothing’ starts on Friday 10th August:
10/8/18 – Bridgewater (Cobblestones)
11/8/18 – Milton Keynes (Craufurd Arms)
12/8/18 – Sheffield (Mulberry Bar & Venue)
13/8/18 – London (Birthdays)
14/8/18 – Southampton (Joiners)
15/8/18 – Leicester (The Shed)
17/8/18 – Arctangent Festival
Jed the Music Ed. is a Music Promoter/Booking Agent and general fixer with Rawkus Events. Jed’s interests include a constant and reckless over-caffeination, irrationally spontaneous travel plans and maintaining an over-expensive (borderline hoarder) PC/retro gaming habit.