As disappointing as Explosions in the Sky’s latest release was for me, I have yet to lose hope in the future of bombastic post-rock. New Zealand’s Jakob are one of the reasons this positivism still holds true. The band plays with the full spectrum of dynamics and instrumental textures, building songs out of thick low-end rumbles to thin, reedy denouements, heaping ethereal effects on the guitar, but keeping the rhythm section clean and organic. This isn’t to say that Solace really breaks any new ground, but whereas its forerunners built the genre’s language out of all sorts of successful and weak forays in experimentalism, Jakob has had an opportunity to absorb this knowledge and map out their path more thoroughly. As such, the album is full of burning brilliance and slow aching release. “Everything All of the Time” is a perfect example of this, the song hard-charges out of the gate, guitars burning with distortion, but soon all sound is reduced to ashes and carried away on limpid pools of reverb. Call it formulaic, call it refined, but Solace is what post-rock’s leap into mainstream culture should’ve sounded like.

Graveface Records: www.graveface.com

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