An Airplane's Wake is a project from Chris Kitzmiller that indulges in post-rock and shoegaze. On his release A Message From Before Our Time you can hear tinges of bands like Explosions In The Sky and early Mogwai while also noticing some of the original qualities. There aren’t many surprises along the way but the songs are nonetheless enjoyable even if it sticks to a number of tropes and clichés of the post-rock genre.
For someone who does all his own recording, mixing and mastering Kitzmiller does an impressive job. For something with this many heavy elements he is able to make certain things like the lead guitar stand out when it's supposed to and drums not be too buried in the mix.
He kicks things off with “Never Have We Seen” which starts with a soft hum and faint white noise. A lone reverb laced guitar quickly comes into the mix with a simple yet effective progression. It doesn't take too long for a distorted guitar and drums to enter into the mix. At this point waves of white noise pour over your speaker. A little over two minutes in and the song reaches a pinnacle with epic lead guitar and crashing drums. The structure adheres to post-rock 101 with a standard climax that goes into about a minute of decline.
The next track “What Was Left When They Were Gone” contains similar peaks and valleys. When it rocks out it does so in epic post-rock fashion. Despite the predictability of the song for anyone who is familiar with post-rock the song is undeniably intense. It continues with an impressive but familiar winning streak of post-rock with “They Fell Like Raindrops From The Cold White Clouds” which even has a typical name you would expect with post-rock.
The fact that Kitzmiller did this by himself is pretty impressive but he still is going to have to come at this at a slightly different angle if he hopes to raise himself above an over-saturated market. At this point he is simply regurgitating a style that has already been perfected over and over again. Of course this is easier said than done because coming up with original ideas or even a varying deviation from existing ideas is extremely hard.
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