Cul de Sac formed in 1990 in Boston, Massachusetts, taking their name from a Roman Polanski film. Led by guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Glenn Jones, Cul de Sac's music is primarily instrumental - although vocals from Boston folk legend Dredd Foole graced the bands debut album - drawing inspiration from sources such as 1960s psychedelia, surf-rock, Middle Eastern folk music, krautrock, John Fahey and american primitivism folk music, free jazz, and the more industrial elements of the avant-garde.
Cul de Sac have been classified by many as a post-rock band - the term was coined for group by writer Simon Reynolds for the music of bands like Cul de Sac, Stereolab, and Bark Psychosis - but Jones has expressed some discomfort with the term, preferring that Cul de Sac's music be viewed on its own terms, rather than as part of a specific genre. Nevertheless, Simon Reynold's own description describes post-rock as "using rock instrumentation for non-rock purposes, using guitars as facilitators of timbres and textures rather than riffs and powerchords," a description that applies well to Cul de Sac, albeit more to a way of approaching music than to a particular style.
Jones has stated that Cul de Sac is the most "musically satisfying" group he's been involved with, a group that is the "closest to being the band I'd dreamed of forming. It allows me to combine my love of open-tuned guitar, played fingerstyle, with my love for electronics and noise, all placed within a rhythmic rock framework."
Cul de Sac have collaborated with legendary guitarist John Fahey and with Can singer Damo Suzuki, caught the ears of Lou Reed, (". . . there's a group called Cul de Sac - very ambient, very cool." - Lou Reed, Interviewed in Mojo) and composed the soundtrack to the 2002 Roger Corman film "The Strangler's Wife."
The band continues to release music, perform, and tour.