April Rain is indeed post-rock in the purest tradition of the genre: melodic and spaced-out guitars, bass sometimes on its own, they are bringing together furious medley of guitars and drums.
As other instrumental bands would do, they choose to use strong poetic song titles similar to those of Explosions in the Sky or Mogwai. “Terry Fox Will Run Forever” or “Teach Me to Fly Don’t Teach Me To Land” evoke so much by their titles alone that we kind of get into the song before we’ve started listening. When our attention is on the album, we find ourselves trying to find connections between the music and the song titles; sometimes, the connection seems crystal clear but sometimes we are totally confused!
Even if April Rain don’t distance themselves from traditional post-rock structures with the songs building and building in intensity a bunch of times, they nonetheless manage to bring this proven formula to a new level. All the instruments have their special moments when they build this intensity and when they finally play all together, the energy and intensity that emerges is immediately palpable. Sometimes, furious tribal tom-tom drumming hits you right in the face and a cinematic, guitar-driven loud explosion of sound destroys you like in Queue Up for Infinity. Sometimes, the building is a very slow, careful process and also emotionally charged, like in I’m All Crying Inside.
The guys in April Rain know how to compose a song and that reflects in every different angle they take. By the end of the album, the impression I had on it at the very beginning was confirmed. This is, along with Spurv’s Skarntyde, the best instrumental rock album of the year and one of the best albums of 2015. Some moments are better than others, (“Violent Passion Surrogate” or “Terry Fox Will Run Forever” are two big highlights) but there is a remarkable coherence in the effort, talent, energy and emotion through the entire album. If you’re one of those people claiming that post-rock is dead or lacks originality, this is one album to prove you wrong.