El Caballo Rojo

There's only so much room in the avant-garde...

There’s only so much room in the avant-garde. There are only so many painters and writers you can pack into a French cafi to discuss the fate of the revolution. So it goes with post-rock. There’s not much room at the top. Not many people like this music very much so you need, well, to be a bit special.

Clever-clogs Slint started it all with their maths textbooks and Fender Strats. [a]Mogwai[/a] injected the genre with pure crystal fear and explosive love in equal measures while, sorry to go on,[a]Godspeed[/a]… brought genuinely subversive politic to their chamber-stringed apocalypse. These freaks make up the first team.

Now we have Melbourne, Australia’s [a]2 Litre Dolby[/a] who sound like all the above, while tripping on the pavement and falling painfully on their arse. Lots of slipping guitar followed by almighty crash and wallop. Enough to suspect something of a hardcore/grunge past in the line-up.

Some tracks are short and some are quite long. But not unlike new BBC Sunday night comedy drama, there’s nothing we haven’t seen before. Originality is vital if this music is going to matter; after all, there are no tunes and you can’t hear the words. [a]2 Litre Dolby[/a] recycle the best moments of the above, often very beautifully, but they’ve wandered off the New Paths To Helicon and got a bit stuck in the mud.