Post-Rock is a very hard-to-define genre. Generally, it's a style that needs to be heard to understand. While the genre might be associated with long compositions with crescendos, many post-rock bands, especially from the "first wave" write relatively short songs. Most commonly defined as a band that uses traditional rock instruments to play non-traditional rock music, whether it be modern classical, ambient, noise, or so on, though there are occasional exceptions
has a very confusing history. Some people credit the Velvet Underground
for starting it with songs like "Heroin" which started off extremely quiet and ended in droney, massive climax
. Other sources give credit to the "Krautrock" movement of The Sixties
and The Seventies
. All sources seem to agree that the movement "officially" started either in 1991, when Slint
released their album Spiderland
and Talk Talk
released Laughing Stock
, or in 1988, when Talk Talk relased Spirit of Eden
. All three albums are considered classics and are extremely influential. The term "post-rock" itself is generally considered to have been introduced as a descriptor for music of this genre in a review of Bark Psychosis' 1994 album Hex
by music journalist Simon Reynolds which appeared in Mojo
in March of that year, although Reynolds claims to have used the term before that review. note
the term in an article for The Wire
published later that year, describing it as music "using rock instrumentation for non-rock purposes, using guitars as facilitators of timbre and textures rather than riffs and power chords."
For the first few years many music enthusiasts had trouble differentiating this and the genre of Slowcore
. This is because Slint
were heavily influenced by Codeine
, often considered the first Slowcore band. For awhile the droney sounds from the two got many Slowcore bands mislabeled as Post-Rock
and vice versa.
Throughout the The Nineties
bands such as Cul de Sac, Tortoise, Labradford, Bowery Electric and Stars of the Lid helped mold the genre into what it resembles now. The movement sparked mainly from three different cities with their own separate scenes: Chicago, Glasgow, and Montreal.
Then, in the 2000's bands such as Mogwai, Godspeed You! Black Emperor
, and Explosions In The Sky
helped expand the genre even more. Then, a number of Sludge Metal
bands started picking up on the genre, resulting in "post-metal" or "atmospheric sludge". Since then, the underground has been littered with Post-Rock
The "big 4" of post rock are, generally, considered to be Explosions In The Sky
, Sigur Rós
, Godspeed You! Black Emperor
, and Mogwai.
Bands that are generally considered to be post-rock (post-metal included):