I still don’t know what post-rock means. I just think of Mogwai and go from there. In that sense, I suppose Caspian counts as a post-rock group. You Are the Conductor, the group’s 2005 debut EP, was recently reissued by current label The Mylene Sheath. While it consists of six tracks, it could arguably be viewed as a single, 28-minute piece of epic, rocking, fluid post-rock music.
“Quovis” is a brief introductory track, a trailer of sorts for what the listener can expect, as sparse notes increase in loudness until drummer Joe Vickers crashes through the atmosphere. In a way, Vickers sounds like he’s calling all the shots. His shimmering crashes wash out “Quovis” and announce track two, “Further Up.” The guitars can noodle or thunder as much as they please, but it’s ultimately the drums that decide when rockin’ is goin’ down.
“Further Up” expands on the ideas expressed in “Quovis” – more spacey jams, otherworldly rocking and so on in the vein of Envy (minus the screaming) or Mogwai (minus the humor). Interestingly, each of the songs doesn’t really end. Things usually associated with closing out a song – an outro, feedback – always bleed into the next track. The track listing is somewhat meaningless, then. Just put on the record and let it go.
At only 28 minutes in length, Conductor is able to accomplish all of its ideas before overstaying its welcome. Post-rock can get lengthy, yes, but Caspian drops its payload and wings on home before getting too self-indulgent. Which is probably why Mylene decided to re-release this EP. The new CD packaging recreates the feel of a vinyl record with its thick cardboard stock. The ink job looks good. That the packaging contains good music is a nice touch as well.