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"This Texas guitar-theater quartet played one of the most amazing gigs I saw in 2003..." -- Rolling Stone
"Will kill anyone whoever had a heart, never mind those who already love FX-pedal pushers such as Ride and Mogwai." -- NME
Top Customer Reviews
This is truly beautiful. Explosions in the Sky is a four-piece (two guitars, bass, and drums) that gets lumped into the post-rock category, but they dramatically surpass the standards generally set for the idiom. They do the episodic build-build-build-climax-repeat formula like, say, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, but this music achieves something very different. The music is sparse and minimal with a genuine emotive power. The sparseness is present in the textural thinness (only four instrumentalists, remember), with guitars generally playing starry arpeggios with an empathetic rhythmic backing. With so much breathing room, the music fills the pockets of space left by bare instrumentation with simple emotional resonance that might not have prevailed with denser arrangements. The music is minimal not because it is in repetitive stasis, but because the song construction focuses on a collegial series of sounds development rather than linear evolutions.
Explosions in the Sky's first album was bleak with a glimmer of hope. Here, everything is brushed away and the beauty is fully exposed. Rather than describe each piece, I will just say that the music here evokes lovely images: spending time by the sea with a special someone, the earth in bloom, looking to the nighttime sky full of stars through a branchy canopy of trees, love & friendship, rebirth, etc. Just look at the song titles -- they have very fitting names.
Highly recommended, along with their first album, _Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Live Forever_.
Like most "post rock" bands, EITS are very minimalist in structure. With 5 songs, each totalling around 10 minutes, the arrangements are huge and sparse, allowing the beautiful, sweeping melodies to breathe, and take hold of the listener. There's a not a lot of distinction between the songs. Instead, they all fit together, like one mammoth composition full of very gradual but undeniably exhilirating dynamics. It's also notable that as compared to many other post rock heavy-hitters, such as Godspeed You Black Emperor or Sigur Ros, they have a much more accessible and easily digestable sound. This means that you don't necessarily have to be a post rock fan, or even know what the hell post rock is to enjoy this band. And, while some may equate accessibility with inferiority, I personally think they're every bit as talented as the aforementioned (excellent) bands.
Simply put, this is some of the best instrumental rock there is. Pure bliss, that cannot be missed.
But that's where Explosions in the Sky are different to me. I find EitS to be more engaging. They eschew the orchestral intricacies and bombast of GYBE and aSMZ in favor of a more simplified approach. They use just the basic bass, drum, and two guitars to create their sonic landscapes. I think sonic landscapes is an accurate description. Each song feels like a journey full of hope and optimism. If you're a fan of technically difficult musicianship, this probably won't be your ticket. I wouldn't say any of this music is particularly difficult or challenging. However, their songwriting is utterly amazing.
As mentioned elsewhere, the songs do flow into each other without great distinction. Then again, this album plays more like a continuous soundtrack than a collection of individual distinct songs. As such, it is a perfect album to just sit back and let your mind wander where it will. Because of the sheer beauty and captivation of the music, I have to give this a 5 star rating because I think this album is one of the best examples of the post-rock genre and a great place for people new to this form of music to get their start. This is the kind of album that would appeal to people that aren't even fans of progressive music. Most highly recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love this album. I consider it a masterpiece. However, the vinyl edition is disappointing. The vinyl pops very loudly throughout the sides, and the 4th side with the gorgeous... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Alex
This album is perfect to listen to at the office when you need to feel inspired and motivated. Like right now, I'm listening to it at the office and I'm totally motivated to... Read morePublished 2 months ago by yoslammityslam
A bunch of hipsters making ambient noise for an hour, no vocals, just alternating between ethereal sounds and irritating furious strumming distortion.Published 3 months ago by J. Sweet
No wear, tear, or scratches. The records aren't bent at allPublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
An already perfect album improved on the vinyl format. Beautiful in every way. D side is covered in bird etchings and a wonderful quote "The earth is not a cold dead place... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Chris Rosenthal