What makes Texas so great? Is it the Alamo? The oil? George Bush? If you answered yes to any of those, you could be right, but for the intents of this review, I'll say you're wrong. Texas is the home of guitar-based post rock band Explosions in the Sky. After being featured in the film Friday Night Lights
, they reached out and touched a wider audience. Their second full length, The Earth is Not a Cold, Dead Place
, is filled with beautiful guitar melodies and soothing soundscapes. It's title says it all, because everything here gives off a warm, cozy feeling. The songs are long, and contain several different parts to help those with ADD to not become bored. It's rather hard to with music as good as this, though.
From the beginning of First Breath After Coma
, it's obvious that this is going to be a well composed journey. And a lovely one, at that. Twangy guitars interweave betwixt one another as bass joins in to form an uplifting swirl of sounds. The bass drum comes in and thumps like a human heart while strings tickle your ears. The remainder of the song is no downfall, either, as it takes a few breaks and changes melody a few times. These melodies of stringed variety are what EitS shine at. The lines from The Only Moment We Were Alone
are sure to put a wide grin on your face, as you sway back and forth to it. Memorial
starts off a bit slow, but makes up for later on with it's quiet interlude followed by a loud, pounding climax. The obvious standout track is the sublime Your Hand in Mine
. When someone asks who EitS is, let them hear this. It starts off slow with some high guitar notes, until another guitar and bass joins in. Out of nowhere bursts in some heavy snare work as the melody changes a bit, and my grin gets bigger. It's easy to just sit back and reminicse on things, while those Texas boys play their soundscapes. Soon, the song changes again and some great tom work comes in and my face is soon sore. When it ends, I'm tired of smiling, but elated from the great song I just heard. If you only hear one EitS song ever, please do me a favour and make it this one.
All the songs here follow a fairly similar formula: start slow, build up some steam, and then thrash away with blaring guitars and crashing drums. It's not really a bad thing, even though it becomes hard to differentiate one song from another until you've heard it several times. The music well more than makes up for it, with it's uplifting form of post rock. This is an album that would be perfect for those depressing times when you just feel down on your luck. Throw this on and drift away to it's weaving guitars and soothing soundscapes. Why isn't the Earth a cold, dead place? Because you are listening.