Every Monday through Friday. we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Monoliths” by Maserati from the 2009 album Passages on Temporary Residence.
The instrumental outfit known as Maserati first began playing songs in Athens, Georgia almost ten years ago. Co-opting the name of Italy’s most cherished sports car was no accident -- evidenced immediately by their first two releases 37:29:24 (2001, self released) and the Language of Cities (2002, on Kindercore) -- Coley Dennis, Matt Cherry, Jerry Fuchs and Steve Scarborough sought to redefine the post-rock genre with a healthy dose of modernity, sophistication and shine. Sure, they’re “post-rock” in a lot of ways -- instrumental w/ your standard bass, guitar, drums operating system/uncommon structure -- but where others have made album after album safe inside the box, Maserati has been careful to expand upon especially enticing genre trappings (see: instrumental, loud/soft, minimal/dense, building crescendos) to consistently create interesting work. Accentuating the post in post-rock Maserati’s most recent offering, Passages , is a cross-roads of psychedelic arena jams (often equated to Pink Floyd but don’t hold that against them) and higher-than-most-post energy dance. The first few measures of “Monoliths” feel equal parts progressive and electronic. From there the song quickly sprouts wings, floating just above a driving hi-hat rhythm that could inspire ravers and hipsters alike. I see fog machines. I see Red Bull. I see strobe lights. I see beards. I see peebers.
As fans of the band likely already know, drummer Jerry Fuchs recently passed away in a tragic elevator accident. While his awesome drumming (evidenced in today’s Song of the Day) and good-natured personality will be missed in ways that words can not describe, the band seems to be carrying on. As clichéd as it sounds, one look at the dude’s smile lets us know he wouldn’t want it any other way. As further testament to Fuchs’ mastery, here’s the montage “Gerhardt Fuchs: One-handed Drum Machine” by Fred Weaver: