One of the loveliest of the third-wave post-rock bands is Mono, hailing from mid-2000’s Tokyo.
I remember having some friends in high school who loved these guys. I’ve never been a huge fan of most third-wave post-rock, but the genre has its moments– How Strange, Innocence by Explosions in the Sky is one, and You Are There by Mono is most certainly another.
Third-wave, for the most part, rehashes Labradford’s albums as much Godspeed’s, with bolero guitars, crashing climaxes, and somber silences the ingredients one can count on hearing. It’s nice music, and Mono’s music might be the nicest of the bunch.
You are There is, like its contemporaries, severe and sad, but it has a gracefulness and special majesty to it. Central to this is the interplay between lead guitarist Takaakira Goto and rhythm guitarist Hideki Suematsu. The guitars boom and shimmer like no other band from their generation, conjuring up romantic imagery of snowy mountains and caverns. It’s worth mentioning that this album has a fitting cover: a snowy mountain scene with a pine forest in the foreground and a blood sunrise in the background. Mono was a first class band, and it would be nice to see a new album from them.
If any of my Portland readers are interested, Mono will be appearing at the Doug Fir Lounge tonight at 8. Helen Money will be supporting. Happy listening.