THE MIGHTY MISSOULA – REMNANTS (SELF-RELEASED, 2020)

Hailing from the gloomy Northwest, The Portland-based The Mighty Missoula return with a full-length LP released earlier this month that contains passages of brooding atmospherics and pulverizing, cinematic crescendos. It’s 2020, I am not sure we are looking for anyone to rewrite the rules on Post-Rock. What The Mighty Missoula do they do very well, even within the parameters of the genre. Executed with passion and technical excellence, I can’t help but get a massive rush of adrenaline when the slow-burn minor key passage full of sparse bass lines and reverb-heavy guitars erupt into a sell-all crescendo that feels like each peak is a false summit; the intensity ratcheting up to an almost inhuman level. While being a hallmark of the sub-genre, The Mighty Missoula do it with heart – and with repeated returns upon each listen – that make it a not so subtle reminder of why I love this kind of music so much.

Influences here aren’t difficult to spot. “Bergschrund” contains a driving rhythm section remiscent of later Mogwai, while the whole grand scope and composition of a song like the album opener “Draining Euphrates” contains the cinematic wide-scope of bands like Mono or Russian Circles. Elsewhere tracks like “Pitch & Yaw” delve into the more subtle, complex and interweaving guitar work and melancholy disposition of bands like Yndi Halda or Joy Wants Eternity. “Pitch &  Yaw” specifically contains one of those build-ups that sounds like it has been working towards the entire composition. When it breaks, it breaks wide-open. An unmitigated rush of sadness and triumph wrapped together – it’s polarity exposing all of the unnameable shades between. That moment exposes one of my favorite aspects of music to begin with. It’s ability to hold multiple and sometimes contradictory emotions in the same passage. The Mighty Missoula speak fluently in multiple emotional languages throughout Remnants.

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