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The Post | Backwards (Super Asbestos)
'Backwards' is the intriguing, if slightly less than amazing, debut album from US trio The Post. Marshalled by Ben Swanson (one of those behind the Secretly Canadian label), this band construct short, claustrophobic, swirling grooves that inhabit worlds somewhere between post-rock, alt-rock and the kind of middle-eastern soundscapes also attempted by Shalabi Effect. It's a curious, occasionally successful, combination featuring rhythms that often climb and rise quite excellently before fading and dissipating before anything truly memorable has been achieved. Propelled by a rumbling rhythm section and taut, tense dynamics, The Post's agenda is built upon loose song structures and spooked vocal mantras, which echo a lost and lonely Thom Yorke madly searching for his lyric sheet. On the occasions when they do hit full stride, The Post are a truly convincing proposition, threatening to throw the listener into dark, despairing, challenging directions. Quite superb, for example, are the sinister, gripping rhythms of Drown while Hum is better still, changing the attack and drifting into strung-out, haunting territory. Somewhere in-between however, they never quite hit full throttle, promising to overwhelm before stalling just on the verge of real sparks flying. Far from backwards, The Post need to stop staring in their rear-view mirrors and keep on driving forwards.

Ian Fletcher
August 2002