Review Summary: Explosions in the sky use simple melodies to blend songs driven with heavily distorted guitar and songs driven by lush piano and clean guitar.
In the world of music, diving into a genre can be a very tricky thing. You’ll expect to like it but then hate it, you’ll expect to hate it and then love it, then you can hate it one day and then obsess over it another and vice-versa (Sorry if I miss any other combination of musical progression). When I dove in to Post Rock, I’d say that I lucked out when I got Explosions in the Sky’s 2007 release All of a Sudden I miss everyone
because it truly was a pleasant surprise.
It seems with some albums, your appreciation for it drastically decreases after exploring the genre more and seeing that there are better bands/albums. I say that because this is not a typical Post Rock album, in that there is not a permanent theme or mood to it. It is not bursting with lush, dramatic crescendos (though they do show up once in a while) but rather basing this album of off simplicity which really is how they have become up there with the great Post Rock bands. They use simple melodies which makes is enjoyable and less complicated so you can really soak this album in.
The overall sound of the album is very diverse. Some songs are driven by layered soundscapes of heavily distorted guitar, loud crashes and bangs of the drums and towering synthesizer lines, while some songs are carried by soft piano and clean guitar. You strongly feel the noisy sound in the intro song The Birth and Death of Day
with loud punchy drums, fuzzy tremolo picked guitar and huge synthesizer lines. Welcome Ghosts
also fits that category as well but with more of a brightened and joyful sound with a slower tempo and heavier drums. Another song to fit that theme is Catastrophe and Cure
with a faster drum tempo and a dark, eerie mood to it, which does influence other songs. While there are distorted guitar driven songs, there are also softer songs driven by soft piano and smooth acoustic guitar. In What Do You Go Home To?
it starts with dark piano and a soaring synthesizer and you get into a darker sound as the song transforms into layered guitar and a piano ending on a sad note. The softest song filled with lush piano and soothing guitar has to be the closer song, So Long, Lonesome
. This song still has supple piano but this time with a happier sound as heard in the beginning of the album.
It’s Natural to be Afraid
is literally the album in one song. Stretching up to 13 ½ minutes this song is a massive and overwhelming display of the type of blend in this album. It has a dark mood, then a joyful mood, it is driven by heavy, distorted guitar and punchy drums, and then it is carried by soft piano and clean guitar. Flipping back and forth, this song defines the album in a nutshell.
Getting this album, I can safely say that my introduction into Post Rock was a good one. It presented me with a good blend of tranquility and liveliness, ecstatic guitar and soft piano. When you add it all together this is a great album to get when exploring this genre.
Nice blend of heavy and soft songs
Good first album to get in Post Rock
Not really a set theme or specialty