Every Record I Own - Day 194: Caspian Tertia
I was a hardcore kid. I played in a hardcore band. I went to hardcore shows. I bought hardcore records and zines. It was my community, but I liked a lot of other kinds of music too, and I really wanted to incorporate new sounds into the stuff I was creating. Eventually I found that there were just fewer and fewer new bands that made me feel the excitement that initially drew me into the hardcore microcosm, and retaining excitement as a musician meant culling from things that fell outside that insular community. I still feel like a hardcore kid: I like belonging to an underground, I like going to shows, and I like playing loud, aggressive, dissonant music, but the stuff I make now doesn’t get classified as hardcore.
Now the band I play in gets tagged as post-rock. And I find that weird because I don’t really think of myself as someone that cares about post-rock. I mean, I like GY!BE and Tortoise and Don Caballero and a few other bands that fall under the umbrella, but I don’t really think of those artists belonging to one specific community. And to be honest, I don’t really want to listen to newer self-proclaimed post-rock bands because I feel like that’s living in an echo chamber—figuratively and sonically.
We’ve played with Caspian a few times over the last decade and I’ve always gotten the vibe that they’re in the same boat, like they’re more interested in Boards of Canada and My Bloody Valentine than Mogwai and Explosions in the Sky. They seem like nice folks and good musicians, and it felt like maybe we were reaching similar musical conclusions even if we were arriving there by very different means. But at the end of the day, there’s only so much time one can dedicate to finding new music and I didn’t really want to investigate something that already felt within my wheelhouse, so I didn’t check out their records.
As a hardcore kid, I saw it as my duty to investigate every new hardcore band. Now I feel a duty to work on broadening my palette. But every so often I feel compelled to check out other bands in our scene, even if that scene only really exists in the Similar Artists section of Last.fm or streaming services, and not in some actual tangible network of mutual support. So I picked up this LP after doing some freelance work for their label. It’s a dynamic, rich, well-executed, dreamy post-rock record, but I have difficulty listening to it without professional subjectivity getting in the way of me actually enjoying it. Still, I recognize it as being a good record, and I hold onto it in case I ever have enough distance from the post-rock world that I can listen to it objectively.