Local music: The End of the Ocean

By
From the June 28, 2012 edition

The social pull toward so-called normal adult life can sometimes feel more powerful than the drag of a heavy undertow. But when your band is called The End of the Ocean, how could you do anything but tour from coast to coast?

“We’re kind of at that weird age level where everyone’s trying to get real jobs, and we’re like, no, let’s go do something we’re actually passionate about,” keyboardist Tara Yost said.

In The End of the Ocean’s case, the passion is post-rock, the epic strain of movie-soundtrack music popularized by the likes of Mogwai, Sigur Ros and Explosions in the Sky.

This Columbus quintet does it well. On record, they present a compact take on instrumental post-rock, getting straight to the bombastic emotional payoff rather than parading through one 12-minute song after another. On stage, they’re an all-consuming force to be reckoned with.

They began not with a bang but a whimper. Guitarist Kevin Shannon and bassist Bryan Yost (Tara’s husband) started the band as an ambient project about three years ago but soon realized their ideas required more horsepower.

“We definitely needed a full band with a full sound rather than just two guys noodling,” Shannon said.

Friday, they’ll release their third album, “In Excelsis,” with a concert at Carabar. The show kicks off a five-week tour to the West Coast and back, their longest jaunt so far. They’re planning a trip up and down the East Coast for this fall.

It’s an intense commitment — so intense that the band has had to endure some personnel turnover to assemble a lineup willing to travel so much. The latest addition is guitarist Trish Chisholm, a Detroit resident who rides the Greyhound to get to band practice.

“We’re not trying to be irresponsible, but —” Bryan Yost said, before drummer Wes Jackson finished his thought: “We just really want to play music.”