Post-rock is an interesting thing to tackle. The bands have to keep the rules of standard rock music in mind, while also trying to avoid sticking to them. It’s in that eschewing normal genre rules that allows for cinematic qualities, it helps create songs that can be sweeping in scope. U137 is a duo made up of Adam Tornblad and Oscar Gulbrandsen. These two are no strangers to this type of music, having three releases with Moonlit Sailor under their belts. To see them adding to the stable of wonderful post-rock that Deep Elm currently has makes perfect sense.
It’s hard to review this stuff as a collection of songs. The genre doesn’t lend itself well to picking out favorite songs, or fragmenting things down to “well, this part is cool.” In that regard, Dreamer On The Run is no different. The band made cohesive, engulfing record from front to back. U137 is made that work, plus they fit some great traditional indie rock flourishes in as well. The album works well as an entire piece.
Those indie rock moments are what makes this such an accessible record. You can be a total novice about this type of music and still get it. It never gets into the weirdness that some bands can. It remains very grounded, while still managing to shine. As an instrumental band, everything seems to serve double duty. Each instrument can provide the background colors, but can also carry the song in a traditional way. That said, this isn’t riffing indie rock.
I don’t want to sound like one of those nerd who talks about swirling music and sonic landscapes, but I kind of have to. “Dreamer On The Run” has a whole lot to like. It’s calm and ambient in places, it’s driving in others. Everything works, everything shines. Check it out.