In 2004 when The Fall Of Math was released, post-rock enjoyed a much smaller following, with breakthrough records by bands such as Sigur Ròs and Explosions In The Sky still forging a path. Though it remained a cult release, overshadowed by their own growing popularity, this is 65’s defining record, the essential foundation upon which their sound was to be built.
Their influence from hereon cannot be overstated. Install A Beak In The Heart That Clucks Time In Arabic and I Swallowed Hard, Like I Understood’s glitchy electronic textures and guitar-led walls of sound can be heard in ontemporary rising bands like Maybeshewill, and the polyrhythms that underpin the licks traded between live drums and samples still resonate throughout the math and progressive rock scenes.
Retreat! Retreat! constantly crops up in any online discussion about the best post-rock songs ever, and it’s the thrilling, bombastic high-point of the record. Its opening assertion – ‘This band is unstoppable’ – is borne out in subsequent numbers: the thrashy title track and slow-build This Cat Is A Landmine.
If this reviewer had to name one essential post-rock release, then it would be this one.