|Origin||Louisville, Kentucky, United States|
|Past members||Jeff Mueller
Tara Jane O'Neil
Rodan was an American math/post-hardcore band in the early to mid-1990s. The best known lineup of the band consisted of Jeff Mueller (guitar/vocals), Jason Noble (guitar/vocals), Tara Jane O'Neil (bass/vocals), and Kevin Coultas (drums).
Rodan formed in Louisville, Kentucky in 1992. After quickly passing through drummers Jon Cook and John Weiss, in 1993 the band was joined by Kevin Coultas, who would stay with them almost until the end. In 1993 they recorded their Aviary demo which saw limited release. Later that year two songs from Aviary; "Milk and Melancholy" and "Exoskeleton", were rerecorded and released as How the Winter Was Passed. Six of the songs on the Aviary demo were re-recorded by Bob "Rusty" Weston (of Shellac fame) and released in 1994 as the album Rusty. The band acted as "Truckstop" in the 1994 cult roadmovie Half-cocked to which they also contributed music to the soundtrack. Although they were never signed to the label, Rodan was close to Simple Machines, contributing to several compilations and playing at the label's Working Holiday festival. The band also had a John Peel recording session in 1995. In 1995 Kevin Coultas left the band and was replaced at a few shows by Jon Cook.
Rodan broke up in 1995 with the members pursuing other musical interests: O'Neil in Retsin and in various solo works; Mueller in June of 44; Coultas and Noble in Rachel's; and Coultas and O'Neil in The Sonora Pine. Mueller and Noble started Shipping News in late 1996 and continued to perform with that until Jason Noble died from synovial sarcoma, a rare form of cancer that attacks the body's soft tissue, on August 4, 2012. Jon Cook, the band's original drummer, died in early February 2013.
The music of Rodan is dynamic and complex. Its extremes are well demonstrated within the first two tracks of the group's 1994 recording Rusty. The album introduces us to the band with the rich, chiming layers of "Bible Silver Corner", a neo-Classical guitar-and-bass piece that passes through several movements, never getting loud over its near-seven-minute duration and often employing dissonance. The next track is the sharply contrasting hardcore "Shiner", a two-and-a-half minute discharge of off-kilter rhythms and spastic vocal blasts. Many musical ideas are explored in each song, sometimes serene and other times violent and tense. The vocals are often spoken or whispered in places, while punctuated by wails and shouts in others. The three guitarists handle vocal duties, some songs being sung/spoken by one person and others being done by all three musicians.
Rodan is noted for being from the same music scene as Slint, and many comparisons have been made between the two.
- Aviary (cassette demo, 1993)
- How the Winter Was Passed (EP, 1993)
- Rusty (LP/CD, 1994)
- The Machines: Simple Machines 7"s (1990–1993) Simple Machines Records (1994)
- various compilations; see Southern Records page
- Fifteen Quiet Years (compilation, 2013)
- June of 44 - Jeff Mueller
- The King Cobra - Tara Jane O'Neil
- The Naysayer - Tara Jane O'Neil
- Rachel's - Jason Noble, occasional contributions from Kevin Coultas and Jeff Mueller
- Per Mission - Jason Noble
- Retsin - Tara Jane O'Neil
- Shipping News - Jason Noble, Jeff Mueller
- The Sonora Pine - Tara Jane O'Neil, Kevin Coultas
- Sunspring - John Weiss