Minot contains remnants of From Monument to Masses, sounds like early FMTM on occasion, but ultimately is much more interested in rocking out.
Let me preface by saying that FMTM was one of my favorite post-rock acts. When the band announced its split in 2010, I was pretty peeved. Normally, I’m not that fussed by such events, but FMTM had just released its best album, had never put out anything that wasn’t fantastic, and it wasn’t clear that we would be getting much in the way of spin-off projects. Luckily, Matthew Solberg quickly regrouped to form Minot.
Minot will probably be stuck with the FMTM reference until it can convince people that it is its own entity. Hopefully for most, that will be only a few minutes into Equal/Opposite and the stunning opener “Allostatic Load,” which doesn’t contain too much in the way of post-rock, but is really just a straight shot of instrumental rock. Compare it with something like this, for example, and it starts to look like apples and oranges. It doesn’t completely blow the FMTM reference to smithereens, but it’s at least a more direct musical form that the band shied away from in its latter years.
The rest of the album follows in the opener’s footsteps and steamrolls the listener with one rocking track after another. Minot has more in common with a rock-first band like Maserati or Turning Machine than it does the post-rock crowd. This is both a blessing and a curse; old FMTM fans may be disenchanted by the perceived lack of finesse and sophistication to some of Minot’s brute force offerings. However, those who enjoy a tasteful blast of instrumental rock and are easily bored by the masses of uninspired post-rock knock offs should find Equal Opposite a breath of fresh air.
In the year 2014, it certainly can’t be easy to be a rock band. What was once a popular and commanding genre has certainly seen better days. Equal/Opposite won’t change the world, but for the post-rock crowd it provides a nice reminder of days past when new bands played with a sense of passion.