Post Rock is a genre of music that emerged in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Although not groundbreaking, it was characterized by the use of instrumental music and its experimentation with soundscapes, textures, and dynamics. The term Post Rock itself was coined by Simon Reynolds, a British music journalist. In this article, we’ll explore how this genre began and what makes it unique.

The beginning

In the early 1990s, the alternative music scene was dominated by grunge, punk, and shoegaze. Then, a new wave of experimental bands began to emerge. These bands were influenced by classical music, and jazz, and they sought to push the boundaries of what rock music could be. 

Characteristics of Post Rock

One of the key features of post-rock is its use of instrumental music. Unlike traditional rock music, which often relies on vocals to convey meaning, post-rock is primarily instrumental. This allows the music to take on a more abstract, atmospheric quality. The use of instruments like the guitar, bass, drums, and keyboards is still central to post-rock, but these instruments are used in unconventional ways.

Another important aspect of this genre is its focus on soundscapes. Post-rock bands often create complex, multi-layered soundscapes that evoke a particular mood or atmosphere. This can be achieved through the use of effects pedals, electronic instruments, and unconventional playing techniques. Many post-rock bands also incorporate field recordings and other non-musical elements into their music, further expanding the sonic palette.


One of the most influential bands of the early 1990s was Talk Talk. Their album “Spirit of Eden” (1988) marked a departure from their previous synthpop sound and incorporated elements of free jazz and experimental music. 

Another influential band in was Slint. Their 1991 album “Spiderland” is widely regarded as a classic of the genre, with its intricate guitar work, unconventional time signatures, and moody atmosphere. Slint’s influence can be heard in the work of many bands that followed, including Mogwai and Explosions in the Sky.

Modern examples

Tortoise, a Chicago-based band, was also instrumental in the development of this genre Their 1996 album “Millions Now Living Will Never Die” incorporated elements of jazz and electronic music, and featured complex arrangements and improvisation. The album was a critical success, and Tortoise went on to become one of the most well-known and respected bands in this genre.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Post Rock began to gain mainstream recognition, with bands like Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Sigur Rós, and Explosions in the Sky. This genre has continued to evolve and expand, with new bands experimenting with different sounds, textures, and influences.

Post Rock is still beloved by many folks all over the world. It is a departure from more traditional rock genres. It is commonly associated with forward-thinking individuals, as it relies heavily on soudscapes. This genre has continued to evolve and expand to this day. Check it out, you might just find out that you love it. See you next time!