Lights Out Asia
In The Days Of Jupiter


3.5
great

Review

by Adam Downer STAFF
August 23rd, 2010 | 58 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Feel-Good Album of 2010

I know what you’re thinking, or at least I think I do, but allow me to explain. Lights Out Asia’s music isn’t uplifting. Most adjectives applied to their albums are synonyms for pensive or transcendent. Their last record recalled (to me, at least), Cold War-era paranoia and existentialism, qualities which made a totally-not-ironic cry of “Where is your god now? He isn’t here…” completely acceptable, not to mention pensive and transcendent. Tanks and Recognizers was a little more glossy, but still very much a meditative entity; whereas Eyes Like Brontide is a dark, murky record, Tanks and Recognizers is polished to shine in contrast to its lurking, overwhelming loneliness. Garmonia’s “Yo Mama” joke notwithstanding, Lights Out Asia are not what one might call peppy, and In the Days of Jupiter further affirms that opinion by electing to conjure an atmosphere not dissimilar to the vast expanse of nothingness that is the universe.

But I re-assert: In the Days of Jupiter is the feel-good album of the year.

Why? Because post rock sucks, and sucks so hard that its suckiness has permeated into anything written about post rock, which makes what was once an enjoyable hobby of mine- writing about some of my favorite post rock music- suck. For this, I partially blame Mono and Do Make Say Think. Both bands severely hurt the chance that there would be anything particularly important released by anyone other than them, Godspeed, Mogwai, or Explosions in the Sky by releasing- in the same year, no less!- perfect albums bookending the post rock binary. Hymn to the Immortal Wind makes any standard four-piece’s attempt to sound symphonic moronic since Mono actually did it with a fucking symphony while Other Truths is, less poetically, too awesome to try and replicate. But I also lay the blame on the bands themselves; so many post rock press releases and Myspaces simply beg to have the bands they represent associated with the big players, so much so that they’ve made the big players the only groups that matter. With originality being long-since abandoned, Post Rock has become, in essence, Golf: it’s only really important to anyone with casual interest if Tiger Woods is involved, only, in this analogy, Efrim Menuck is a Nike-endorsed sex addict.

Yet in the face of these odds, in the face of the style of music they make being passé, Lights Out Asia keep making great fucking albums. Their latest, In the Days of Jupiter, is another in a long line of awesome Lights Out Asia records, right down to the eerie samples, lonely textures, and awkward, possibly unintentional, un-ironic pop-culture references, only now with more Chris Schafer and more synths. This is what makes it good: it’s all we could ever ask for from these guys. Lights Out Asia’s sound isn’t predicated on climaxes or ambient textures, but it works both styles with reserve. Jupiter isn't any different, only this time, instead of the Cold War or various elements of Winter, Lights out Asia head to Space to capture their isolation. The band’s robotic drumbeats and manufactured sounds match well with the album’s overarching theme of the universe as a representation of alienation and solitude (think the first 40 seconds of Blink-182’s “Asthenia” extended and expanded upon to create a full album), but this is essentially what Lights Out Asia do best; they create one specific atmosphere through the same bag of tricks, and every time, it’s beautiful.

And sure, they’re nothing spectacular, conventionally; if you’ve heard one Lights Out Asia album, you’ve pretty much heard them all, but that makes one no less worthy than another. In the Days of Jupiter is Eyes Like Brontide is Tanks and Recognizers is Garmonia, and they all are essential. Lights Out Asia don’t progress, but they do do what we all wish some bands would do: they stay true to their original, wonderful sound, and they keep making awesome music every time out because of it. Will this canonize them? Of course not. But I don’t think post rock needs another hero; it would just be nice if the disparity between The Players and The Suck wasn’t so egregiously huge, and Lights Out Asia continue to sit nicely in the middle, a nice reminder of what it’s like to have faith in something I once unquestioningly believed in. And that makes me feel good.



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3.6
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Electric City
Staff Reviewer
August 23rd 2010


15737 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I tried to write about the music on this one too

Digging: Ricky Eat Acid - Three Love Songs

Athom
Staff Reviewer
August 23rd 2010


17213 Comments


Downer genre bashing itt

Digging: Inigo Kennedy - Vaudeville

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
August 23rd 2010


15035 Comments


"Both bands effectively killed the chance that there would be anything good released by anyone other
than them, Godspeed, or Explosions in the Sky related by releasing"

i might be reading this wrong but im confused about 'related'

"so much so that they’ve made groups who made great albums before everyone else got the idea the
only
groups that matter."

i get this but its awks imo

not really a big deal but you also switch between capitalising Post Rock and not doing so in the
same paragraph haha

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
August 23rd 2010


15737 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

should be eits-related

the capitalization is on purpose there because im talking about it facetiously as an institution

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
August 23rd 2010


2806 Comments


Yeah second paragraph is just awkward in general.

qwe3
August 23rd 2010


21362 Comments


Hymn to the Immortal Wind makes any standard piece’s attempt to sound symphonic sound moronic since Mono actually did it with a fucking symphony while Other Truths is, less poetically, too awesome to try and replicate.


that was realllllly strangely worded/written imho

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
August 23rd 2010


31162 Comments


I kinda get the feeling there might have been alcohol involved in this review

Digging: LV and Joshua Idehen - Islands

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
August 23rd 2010


15737 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

just tried to fix it up a bit, will revisit tomorrow

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
August 23rd 2010


20857 Comments


Isn't 'Fang Island' the "Feel-Good Album of 2010"?

EDIT: I should have had a read of the review before posting that comment.

RedSky
August 23rd 2010


283 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Agreed!

Skimaskcheck
August 23rd 2010


2360 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Knock knock

Mordecai.
August 23rd 2010


8279 Comments


Are there more vocals on this compared to previous releases? cause i love this guys voice.

alachlahol
August 23rd 2010


7489 Comments


"Tanks and Recognizers is polished to shine to contrast its lurking, overwhelming loneliness."

maybe polished to a shine? not sure if that was the intent

"Both bands severely hurt the chance that there would be anything particularly important released by anyone other than them, Godspeed, Mogwai, or Explosions in the Sky by releasing- in the same year, no less!- perfect albums bookending the post rock binary."

and yea this whole sentence is oddly jumbled together. where you start naming bands, something other than a comma is necessary to break up/appropriate the run-on

Enotron
August 23rd 2010


7695 Comments


i'm actually genuinely interested in this.

nice review, man

NeutralThunder12
August 23rd 2010


8742 Comments


these guys make pretty music but it's kinda boring

robin
Emeritus
August 23rd 2010


4248 Comments


these guys suck now. i preferred it when they weren't into the whole glide-through-the-music thing so much

SeaAnemone
August 23rd 2010


20304 Comments


probably gonna hate this

Digging: Holy Sons - Lost Decade II

AlexTM510
August 23rd 2010


1401 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I actually think there's a rather progressive aspect on this album. Just with our spacey they get...much more stars of the lid/hammock-y rather than the other post rock bands u mentioned.

review is alright...2nd paragraph is intriguing hah

alachlahol
August 23rd 2010


7489 Comments


listening to music actually keeps your brain awake sorry to let you in on the truth

Spare
August 23rd 2010


5306 Comments


listening to music actually keeps your brain awake sorry to let you in on the truth
this is pretty wrong

also i liked this review

Digging: Best Witches - Wishes



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