In the crazy world of modern music hackery, it seems almost impossible to move without bumping into a genre prefixed by the word "post". But what do all these terms really mean? Fear no more, for i have compiled a jargon-busting compendium.
• Post-punk. The original 'post-' genre, post-punk began when original punks decided they wanted to get stoned and listen to hippy music after all. Dub influences and a fourth chord were duly added.
• Post-rock. In theory: a diverse fusion of non-rock compositional elements, including jazz, reggae and electronic, played with traditional rock instruments. In practice: kind of the blood group O of music, you can pretty much call anything post-rock and the awe of your companions will mean no-one will be able to challenge your mad skillz. Congratulations! You may now write for an online hipster periodical of your choice.
• Post-hardcore. A term used by bands who want to play emo, yet also retain credibility from Serious Rock Publications. Usually achieved by adding a second, shoutier vocalist.
• Post-metal. Much like metal, but with all the testosterone and dubious lyrics about wizards replaced with brooding instrumentals and 20-minute song lengths. So, an improvement, obviously.
• Post-jazz. Completely indistinguishable from normal jazz.
• Post-alService. Pioneers in writing songs by mailing each other individual instrumental parts and then combining them afterwards, a fact far more interesting than their actual music.
• Post-Secret. Not so much a musical genre as a popular website. (Can I stop now?)
Picture: The notorious NME cover featuring Godspeed You! Black Emperor (the rhesus negative of music). This wasn't one of their all-time failures, as conventional wisdom has it now; it was actually one of their all-time successes. If only they could see that.
mp3: P.I.L. – "Rise"
mp3: Labradford – "P" (YSI)
mp3: Drive Like Jehu – "Caress"
mp3: Neurosis – "Burn"
mp3: Ornette Coleman – "Space Church (Continuous Services)"
Originally written for the Sanctuary newspaper, who got into some rather excellent trouble this week for a piece taking the piss out of those awful, tawdry commemorative crockery collections, which was obviously spun into a "how dare these callous bastards mock the dead!"-type controv-orgy by the increasingly Daily Fail-ish Telegraph.