This Will Destroy You
Tunnel Blanket



by minty901 USER (11 Reviews)
January 1st, 2012 | 10 replies

Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This boring album captivates.

Why am I reviewing this" I must be some sort of a masochist, because Tunnel Blanket was easily the most frustrating album of 2011 for me, with regards to both the music itself and my perspective on it. When I discovered Young Mountain, it was the first time since The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead, Place that I had felt such a connection with a post-rock album. The music was much more simplistic than that of This Will Destroy You's contemporaries, but this only focused the atmosphere and fragility behind each note struck. This Will Destroy You's guitar-play evoked a unique vulnerability. Like a damaged child silently enduring, Young Mountain pleaded for your empathy. Fast-forward to 2011 and this child has grown up, and is ready to fight back. It's angry.

At least that's what "Little Smoke" would lead you to believe. From its humble beginnings, this song swells into a ferocious beast, unlike anything from the band prior. Sure, This Will Destroy You have always played around with quiet-loud dynamics, but those aspects, in my opinion, were always a weak aside to the more minimalist moments. Little Smoke goes all-out angry, the instruments literally screaming with rage. But it's still slow, and like most of the album, not all that interesting. At least, not at first.

If you have yet to hear this album, and especially if you're a fan of This Will Destroy You's previous work, be warned -- it is void of all immediacy, and likely is nothing of what you expect. Gone are the guitar-based melodies that first branded these Austin boys as Explosions in the Sky imitators. In fact, gone are the melodies entirely. Most of the 'songs' on Tunnel Blanket are comprised of very dark drones swelling and blending into similarly dark drones, some louder than others. With the exception of some plodding drums, and a comparatively uptempo fifth track, this is just about all that you should anticipate.

Upon first listen, I denounced Tunnel Blanket as purely dull and not worthy of attention. By my fourth experience with the album, this opinion hadn't changed. But I kept listening. Maybe my inherent fandom of the band made me feel indebted such that I kept on trying. Whatever it was, I've been compelled to listen, and ever since its release, the Blanket has unfolded to reveal a wonderfully introspective series of soundscapes. Other than to use words like 'dark' and 'drone', it is all but impossible to describe Tunnel Blanket's sound to the uninitiated. So I should let the music do the talking and simply recommend this album to anyone with an open mind and a quiet time to spare.

Tunnel Blanket is very much the definition of a grower, and it is worth the excessive time that might be needed to finally appreciate its beauty. Played from headphones in a dark room, this music gets in your head and invades your semi-conscious mind. The more you listen to this album, the more you begin to notice its ambient nuances, and the more enveloped you become in its darkness.

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user ratings (292)
other reviews of this album
Xenophanes STAFF (4)
In trimming the fat, This Will Destroy You have made the most beautiful and captivating release of t...

Beauville88 (2.5)
While the group's second full-length, Tunnel Blanket, is a step in the right direction for the band,...

Comments:Add a Comment 
January 1st 2012


i like this review

January 1st 2012


Thanks. I feel I should have been a lot more descriptive in this review, but it's so hard to describe this album, and Eli K. has already done such a brilliant job of it in his review -- all I'd be doing is copying what's already been said. Figured I'd give a bit more of a personal account of my experience with the album and the band overall.

January 1st 2012


Two post-rock reviews in one day = sweetness

Staff Reviewer
January 2nd 2012


Oh yeah, this album

January 2nd 2012


Album Rating: 2.0

I'm not quite sure what you see in this album. I understand that at first you thought it was boring and now you find it interesting, but the review doesn't give me a very solid idea of what spurred this change.

January 2nd 2012


Album Rating: 2.5

good review. little smoke is really good, i'll probably try to give this another chance again eventually.

January 2nd 2012


You're right carouse, I agree. I don't know what spurred the change, and that's why I found it hard to describe. It's just captivating. I don't really know why. Maybe when I have some time I'll think about it some more and add more detail to the review, I think it needs it.

Also, I've changed the score to better reflect the review and my feelings towards the album. I think I got a bit carried away in giving it a 4.0 as I was listening to it whilst writing the review.

October 11th 2012


must give this a listen

Digging: Rob Mazurek Octet - Skull Sessions

November 4th 2014


Album Rating: 4.5

Really nice review, reminds me of my relationship with their latest album, though that shot up to a 4.5 instead of a 3.5

November 4th 2014


thanks. looking back with a clearer mind on this album, i know that the reason it became so meaningful to me was that i was listening to a lot it while waiting for my grandad to pass away. it suited the situation well particularly because death is absolutely the central theme of the album.

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