Godspeed You! Black Emporer – and what the hell is post-rock, anyway?


I’ve been spouting rubbish about music now for 17 years, and in that time I like to think I got a pretty decent handle on what most genres sound like. However, there’s one thing that continues to flummox me, and that’s the difference between “post-rock” and “math rock”.

I managed to annoy someone earlier by describing Foetus as “math rock”, because I mentally categorise the newer stuff along with Battles, who are listed in Wikipedia under the heading “math rock”. Post-Cardiacs progressive rock with a healthy dose of bombast and an equally healthy disregard for regular song structures. I’m reliably informed that the difference between math rock and post-rock is that Battles are math rock and Godspeed You! Black Emporer (who I was hearing for the first time just now) are post-rock.

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