September 27, 2005

Explosions in the Sky

This is the one I showed the NME deputy editor Dan Silver. He liked it! Apparently it shows potential and a possible future with the NME, not to blow my own trumpet, of course. Have a read anyway, see what you think. Either way have a listen to this album, it's a corker:

Explosions in the Sky – Those Who Know The Truth Shall Die, Those Who Know The Truth Shall Live Forever (Temporary Residence)

Hurrah, an intellectually challenging post-rock group determined to change our vision of what music could be! What, where are the street parties? The overwhelmed expressions etched onto the face of the common man? Something’s afoot. Oh yeah that’s right, it’s been done. But they still have that unique quiet-loud formula going on…

OK so we can gather this isn’t anything new. No verses or choruses and no singing, split into two parts (the ‘Die’ part and the ‘Live Forever’ part) and an album title screaming pretension – yes, this is post-rock all the way, folks. Luckily, Texas natives Explosions in the Sky, on their second full-length LP have made a record that is anything but mundane. The quiet bits are beautiful pieces in their own right; the explosions are genuinely surprising (see 5:47 through ‘Have You Passed Through This Night?’) and the loud bits rock out, just not in your good-old moshpit fashion. The relative minimalism when it comes to orchestration allows for an uncluttered sound and the occasional imperfections in guitar playing and keeping rhythm in particular help Explosions… retain a natural sound, free of studio wizardry. The guitar in standout ‘The Moon Is Down’ rings out like an alarm clock in Heaven that soon gets pissed off that you keep pressing the snooze button. It’s fucking tremendous.

Explosions in the Sky have put themselves sonic distances away from many of the competition, armed with not much more than a guitar, bass and drums. Simplicity itself has won the day, how ironic.

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