Post-rock, is there a more oversaturated genre right now? It’s arguable but it’s certainly up there. The genre that is quickly becoming more predictable than a pop song on mainstream on FM radio certainly needs some reinvention before it collapses. The four-piece Mounds Of Earth is comprised of Pedro Mancillas (guitar), Barry Sexton (guitar), Tommy Steenrod (drums) and Ashton Hayes (bass). While still sifting through familiar territory on their release What It All Could Be occasionally find inspired moments which deviates from expectations.
What It All Could Be contains plenty of grandiose guitar driven crescendos, which can be traced back almost twenty years ago to releases such as Young Team and F♯ A♯ ∞. The band pulls these parts off with ease and for someone who is new to the genre I’m sure they are electrifying. For me and others who have delved into what the genre offers, the band's finest moments are those that aren’t as striking and viscerally intense.
Take for example the first track “If It Brings Me to My Name.” The first half of the song is dedicated to building higher and higher planes. Suffice it to say it adhered to post-rock 101. The most engaging moments were after the climax. “If It Brings Me to My Name” could have predictably faded out around the 5:30 mark but instead lingers on for another two-and-a-half minutes exploring the space around the song. It’s an atmospheric molten volcano that contains a natural yet horrifying beauty after the explosion.
“Reprise the Process” was the highlight. The band goes bright and ethereal here rather than dark and dramatic. More Explosions in the Sky than Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Like the first song its finest moments come towards the end. The band almost gets into psychedelic territory and I thought the element that sounds like a wind flute was a nice touch.
The band gets their heaviest on “Cave of Voices;” Lots of guitar, lots of distortion and number of cathartic moments. The “Charyou Tree” contains plenty of moments that combine intensity and tranquility.
What It All Could Be is a solid follow up to Welcome Winter but I think that the band's best work is still ahead of them. If they can toss out a bit more of what we expect from the genre the community will take notice that they are more than just another above average post-rock band.
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