CASPIAN“It sounds like the Atlantic Ocean,” says Caspian drummer Joe Vickers when asked to describe his band’s sound. A fitting description given the location of their hometown of Beverly, MA, which touches the mighty ocean. It was in 2003 that Vickers, along with bassist Chris Friedrich, and guitarists Calvin Joss and Phil Jamieson, decided to hole up in the practice space and begin crafting their unique brand of anthemic, instrumental rock music, waiting a full year before performing in front of a live audience.
The challenge that every instrumental band eventually comes upon is that of sounding too familiar, and Caspian has always put the importance of keeping each album fresh at the forefront. Jamieson states that the band has a knack for sculpting sound. After releasing their debut album, “You Are The Conductor,” but band opted to add classically trained guitarist Erin Burke-Moran. As could be expected, having a three-guitar attack was a daunting task to pull off, but in Caspian’s case, it made perfect sense.
Caspian’s latest album, the double LP “Waking Season,” has been winning praise from all directions. SPIN Magazine hailed it as “the best post-rock album of 2012” while Alternative Press states that “the album is a triumph, a huge step forward for a band that should be regarded as on one of the best in their genre.” Released through Triple Crown Records, and produced by Matt Bayles (Russian Circles, Minus The Bear, ISIS, Mono, etc), “Waking Season” shows a clear progression in Caspian’s sound. Allowing Bayles to have some control of their normally fully self-contained production style has offered the band a chance to take their arrangements and dynamics to a brand new level. Having matured from performing over 500 shows in over 30 countries, Caspian are highly regarded for their intense performances. ANDREW POHL
Blending elements of post-hardcore and progressive-math rock, Indiana’s Native has been wowing audiences around the world. Part of the extraordinary line-up of bands on Sargent House, Native has come to be recognized as one of the most revered bands among their peers. Road warriors to be sure, they have toured with Caspian, Thursday, Narrows, RX Bandits, and many others. A new album is expected to be released this year, but you can catch their 2010 release, “Wrestling Moves,” in stores right now. ANDREW POHL
BOYFRNDZMore info coming soon...
THE DANDELION WAR
Oakland ambient quintet The Dandelion War brew an intoxicating blend of Icelandic atmospheres and epic American post-rock. Without dipping too far into any one territory, the music on the band’s 2012 LP, “We Were Always Loyal to Lost Causes,” is filled with weighty and diligently built-up anthems that never fail to crescendo. Still, The Dandelion War takes these epics in with a gentle hand, transforming their quieter parts into poignant moments and propelling their loudest moments to even greater heights in the process. CHARLIE SWANSON