The Little Explorer
The Little Explorer


4.0
excellent

Review

by Alex Trinkner CONTRIBUTOR (71 Reviews)
March 4th, 2013 | 39 replies | 1,609 views


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Why don't you scream your own words

Emo music is enjoying a revival of near epic proportions. Bands affixing the often maligned genre of emo upon their works have been popping out of the wood works, releasing an album or two before subsequently breaking up or fading back into obscurity. One such band that decided to call it quits far too early in their career was The Little Explorer, a band active from 2003 until their demise in 2006. Although the members of The Little Explorer went on to form the critically acclaimed Crash of Rhinos, the sound found on their 2003 debut was never expounded upon, as Crash of Rhinos dropped the harsh vocals and focused more on the post-rock aspect densely implemented by The Little Explorer. The Little Explorer’s self-titled debut is an album that, while not altogether groundbreaking, was a welcome addition to the scene.

The album itself does not deviate from the basic principles found in the emo movements of the early 2000’s; the style found throughout the eight track album seldom crosses over to the ‘skramz’ era, instead opting to focus on the post-rock side of emo. Tracks such as Sense of Smell or Blood Runs Blue have extended instrumental breaks, the latter being an entirely instrumental track encompassing delayed guitars and tremolo picking layered with ‘spacy’ effects throughout. Songs constantly ebb and flow, making for distinct highs and lows on nearly every track. While there are only eight tracks to be found on their debut album, The Littler Explorer opts to let every track breath and realize its full potential; of the eight tracks only one track is less than a four minutes while there are four tracks that come in over five minutes. Each song shifts tempos seamlessly sans inhibition, making for an album full to the brim with surprises.

The aforementioned instrumental track is not the only example of a break from the harshness and discord that is The Little Explorer. Play Softer starts off soft, building to a distorted and dissonant passage before tapering off as softly as it had begun. Most songs do indeed follow this pattern; starting soft before building meticulously to a climax with a wall of crunching guitars before ending in the same manner as they begun. Although this is an approach to songwriting that may seem clichéd or abused, The Little Explorer came out in 2003, a period in which this approach was only just starting to expand. To further exemplify the melodic side of The Little Explorer, Cloud Cover is a song that exclusively uses clean vocals and relaxed instrumentation. A booming track that exemplifies the songwriting prowess of the members, Cloud Cover stands out as a definite highlight track, not only for its own performance but the fact that it sets the stage perfectly for the spastic album closer Turner’s Dance.

It has been more than ten years since The Little Explorer released their debut self-titled album, but the record still feels as fresh as it did a decade prior. The vocals are gut-wrenching, the guitars snake their way throughout songs without pause and there is an absolute sense of passion on every single song; it truly seems that there is ‘something for everyone’ on this release. The fact that even ten years later an album can still seem as fresh and vivacious as the day it was first produced is surely indicative of the caliber of musical talent present during The Little Explorer’s humble existence, a caliber seldom matched by their peers.



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user ratings (8)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
atrink
Contributing Reviewer
March 4th 2013



2809 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

They also just released a previously unreleased album recorded in 2006 a few weeks ago. I was going to review that instead, but snox has it for his review game thing. If he doesn't do it i'll definitely do it.

So what do you guys think? I'm starting to love music like this a lot

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
March 4th 2013



2809 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh yeah, it's available for a free download, along with their entire discography.. so why the heck not check it out?

http://thelittleexplorer.bandcamp.com/album/the-little-explorer

solongatlast
March 4th 2013



190 Comments


Nice review. Been digging Siderali but haven't downloaded this yet.

Digging: Television - Marquee Moon

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
March 4th 2013



2809 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This one is more 'raw'.. There's less clean vocals than siderali.. but I think i might enjoy this a bit more. They're both around 4's to me

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
March 4th 2013



19497 Comments


another extremely solid review atrink and wha..?? it's 10 years old!!! lol

seriously though atrink 4 ghost promo!

I like the way you describe music wish i could describe it like you hehe...


Digging: The Who - Tommy

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
March 4th 2013



2809 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Lol i haven't done a review for something this old in a longggg time. The only reason i did this one instead of the one released a few weeks ago is because someone else is supposed to. But it's a start

But you should see my notes before i review an album. It says every riff or part is "sick" or "sweet". I just dress it up for the actual reviews

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
March 4th 2013



19497 Comments


you write notes before reviewing an album? lol

i just write the damn thing. but yeah you dress it up nicely...

"The vocals are gut-wrenching, the guitars snake their way throughout songs without pause"

loved this description.




atrink
Contributing Reviewer
March 4th 2013



2809 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah.. When i'm listening to the album i write down what catches my ear so i remember what to talk about. but thanks friend. I like that line too.


@andcas you should. it's free man

Calc
March 4th 2013



12037 Comments


"the style found throughout the eight track album seldom crosses over to the ‘skramz’ era"

era isn't the right word.

you tend do this thing where in the effort to diversify your writing you use words that don't belong.


"but the record still feels as fresh as it did a decade prior."

you heard this ten years ago?

Digging: Kashiwa Daisuke - April. #02

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
March 4th 2013



2809 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well the way i see it there was a 'skramz era' and then a more 'melodic era' of screamo. so that's what i'm trying to say. Does it still seem wrong then? An honest question.. But no i didn't lol. A bit presumptuous i guess. I'm trying to say that some albums that came out ten years ago don't sound as good now.. with the new wave of bands in this vein. does that make sense?

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
March 4th 2013



19497 Comments


yes it makes sense the entire review is fine just the way it is.

i've talked about albums sounding as good as they did 30 years ago (before i was born) lol.

Cygnatti
March 4th 2013



21349 Comments


Dora?

Digging: The Avalanches - Since I Left You

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
March 4th 2013



2809 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Clac just doesn't like my reviews I guess : (

But I was waiting for a Dora the explorer joke. Way to deliver!

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
March 4th 2013



19497 Comments


nah i'm sure calc likes your reviews i just think he's being a bit too picky this time. i mean the review is great why focus on something as silly as "did you really hear this 10 years ago?".


atrink
Contributing Reviewer
March 4th 2013



2809 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Calc sure does like to employ constructive criticism. it's good to be picky though

CaptainDooRight
March 4th 2013



28360 Comments


nice review, Pos'd

I bookmarked the Bc link and will prolly be checking this out, even though I'm in no way a screamo expert.

Digging: Tukaaria - Raw to the Rapine

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
March 4th 2013



2809 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks. I'd download it as soon as possible. I'm not quite sure if they have the free download forever or just for a limited time. But i'm only just getting into it. It's a becoming one of my favorite genres i think

CaptainDooRight
March 4th 2013



28360 Comments


Cool, thanks for the heads up.

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
March 4th 2013



2809 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Anything for you ;)

Ecnalzen
March 4th 2013



6398 Comments


"Recorded way before any of us could grow proper beards."

This is a rad selling point on their bandcamp.



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