Tag Archives: post-rock

Juracán shows flashes of post rock on acoustic guitar-filled sophomore album, Jarineo

Photo Courtesy of Anima Recordings

An album that has a lot of guitar playing on it still might not fit the label of a “guitar album.”

But, Juracán’s latest LP, Jarineo, which spans 20 tracks of fingerpicked melodies and reverberated echoes, could most definitely be categorized as such.

Juracán is the musical project of Portland-based musician Pierre Carbuccia Abbott. Originally from the Domican Republic, the multi-instrumentalist blends Latin-tinged acoustic guitar playing with reverbed-out post rock leads to craft a sophomore album that gives off a relaxing, end-of-the-day feel. Janireo carries along like mellow evening, a laid back mood interrupted only by the staccato power chords of the sludgy outlier, “Tensión” (Juracán’s sole member also plays bass in the Portland metal band, Flood Peak).

Carrabuccia Abbott’s lyrics pair well with the reflective feel of Janireo’s songs. Although most of the songs have Spanish titles, he sings all of his lyrics in English, save for his vocals on the piano-lead song, “Valor.” On album highlight “Psychotherapy,” he introduces his confessional-style vocals with lines such as “I haven’t felt this lost/Since my teenage years” or “I wanna tell you more/But I don’t know what to say.” The abundance of beatdown lyrics — which can also be found on other songs such as “Anxiety Riddles” or the Elliott Smith-indebted track called “More Space” — bolster the ruminative and plentiful instrumentals on the record.

In fact, the majority of songs on Janireo are free of vocals. An early instrumental track titled “En Casa” sounds like one of Led Zeppelin’s folk ballads with its intricate guitarwork and brooding sonic backdrop. “Complacencia,” the album’s longest track at four and a half minutes, dives headfirst into an ambient style by employing rumbling effects and soothing electric guitar melodies. Elsewhere on Jarineo, short interludes fill out the album by adding new textures and soundscapes to explore.

In addition to his favored instrument, the guitar, Carbuccia Abbott also introduces several other instruments on Jarineo such as a deep-sounding clarinet on the song “Clarinete” and a South American-sounding flute on “Flautéamo,” with the latter track featuring dynamic bass lines, as well.

The saxophone playing of collaborator Eric Leavell on “Flying Again” is another welcome addition to the album’s musical diversity. The single is also notable for having that album’s most uplifting chorus. “Sometimes it feels like you can fly/And sometimes you give flying a try,” Carbuccia Abbott sings atop his loudly strummed acoustic guitar.

Looking past the sometimes unpolished production on Janireo, Carbuccia Abbott’s practiced guitar animates every track on Juracán’s sophomore release, even when songs don’t fit conventional rock or pop structures. Jarineo is a textbook “guitar album” that notably incorporates a number of other instruments in support of its skillfully layered six-string sketches.

3.5/5

Amplified Observations: Why do post-rock bands score so many movies?

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Scoring a film is much like capturing it. It takes arrangement and execution.

It’s not an uncommon practice to bolster a film’s visuals with a barrage of orchestral strings and powerful brass. A good film score increases tension and targets emotion, feats that grandiose classical ensembles easily achieve.

But for some directors, violins are not enough. Several famed filmmakers have strayed from the Hans Zimmers and Danny Elfmans of the world in favor of a less conventional sound: post-rock.

Columnist Luke Furman argues how despite going through changes of sound and subjects, folk has retained its original intention and purpose.

Post-rock, a mostly instrumental rock derivative that focuses on creating longer, more complex compositions than traditional rock, works in a similar fashion to classical film scores. Both take time to establish fine-tuned textures, build suspense, convey intensity or triumph and both sound amazingly rich at loud volumes.

One of the most popular post-rock bands, Explosions in the Sky, scored two critically successful Peter Berg films: Friday Night Lights (2004) and Lone Survivor (2013). Berg described the appeal of the band as having “an emotional, tender quality to their music, even when it gets aggressive.” In addition to these, the quartet also crafted soundtracks to Prince Avalanche (2013) starring Paul Rudd and Manglehorn (2014) starring Al Pacino. But they are hardly the only band of this style to cash in on this art form with dual film and soundtrack revenues.

The films Moneyball (2011) and Room (2015) both feature “The Mighty Rio Grande,” an 11 minute wordless ode by Texas post-rock band This Will Destroy YouMoneyball almost uses it to a point of motif. The band also lent its song “Villa Del Refugio” to the Brad Pitt zombie thriller World War Z (2013).

Scottish genre band Mogwai scored Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain (2006) and the French TV show known in America as The Returned. And even further back, Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s song “East Hastings” appeared in Danny Boyle’s apocalyptic 28 Days Later in 2003, which might have even set the precedent for the use of post-rock in place of traditional scores.

Boyle told The Guardian he used Godspeed’s album F#A# Infinity as inspiration for the atmosphere of the film, saying “The whole film was cut to Godspeed in my head.”

So whether it’s stirring moodiness or feelings buried underneath layers of reverb, something about post-rock makes for a perfect complement to any tense or meaningful film sequence. It’s what Beethoven or Bach might have made if they had some effects pedals and rolling papers lying around the house.

And ultimately, when two passion-driven art forms like film and post-rock collide, something memorable is bound to emerge in its radiating aftermath.

Luke Furman is a sophomore studying journalism and a reporter for The Post. Can you think of another movie with a great post-rock soundtrack? Tweet him @LukeFurmanOU or email him at lf491413@ohio.edu.