Introducing: Group of the Altos
I’ve become something of a closeted post-rock fan; pining for the first couple of years when Explosions in the Sky really meant something, trying to avoid the use of the word “crescendo” in casual conversation. Leading a double-life is hard, especially when the genre that turned you into the person you are today has become a clichéd, hollow-out version of its former self. “I don’t want to be that,” I think to myself, “I don’t want to be a cliché of myself.” Nevertheless, when I hear solid post-rock song, I can’t help but bear my soul to the world (or at least to the sliver of Minneapolis’ music community that reads Reviler.)
That’s especially true when the band enlists a couple of members that set down guitars in favor of traditional string or brass instruments. Enter, Group of the Altos. This dodecatet (yeah, that’s right, twelve members) rocks the weeping catharsis like Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Sparrows Swarm and Sing, or A Northern Chorus in their prime, with forlorn strings creaking behind an impromptu ensemble of earnest-to-goodness singers. The Milwaukee-based collective, led by Daniel Spack of Collections of Colonies of Bees and Volcano Choir, combines folk storytelling with epic composition, dragon-breath jazz, and frigid minimalism.
Take a listen to the groups sorta-self-titled EP, Altos, below.
—Will Wlizlo (@willwlizlo)