When attempting to dive into the ridiculously titled and complex genre of post-rock, listener beware. Beyond the sea of orchestral grandness and musicianship lies moments of extended emptiness—the sound of faint, moving air between your speakers. The music clerks may be content to call it “an necessary ambient moment that increases the tension and overall listening experience” but for the high percentage of marijuana-free, ADD addled Americans, it adds up to a forced nap coupled with a classic Steven Wright joke. (“I played a blank tape on full volume. The mime who lived next door complained”)
Luckily, Explosions in the Sky have maintained over four releases an imbalance in the post-rock world; an ever-impressive ability to enhance the genre’s experience through minimal silent treatments that always seem necessary and never feel forced. An overall welcome experience, All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone, the Austin, TX band’s fourth full-length, kicks off with “The Birth and Death of the Day” which comes on like a storm; a fuzz drawl of califone crackling haze mixed with finger tip searing guitar work. The center of the piece settles like the eye of a storm, melodic and laced with a nature that rises and falls, like so many families in America.
“Welcome, Ghosts” the promotional “single” track from the release marches forward in a vein that is familiar to the band’s faithful. Each movement is a driving exploration of pages turned with every passing minute. The tale unfolding before us, its emotions are projected by time signature and key as opposed to lyrics; an instrumental narrative of beauty. “It’s Natural to Be Afraid” utilizes a looping dish of backwards notes, shaken hums and broodingly fingered keys exemplifying the majesty of the terrified and extolling a sentiment that between the tears, there is indeed comfort in despair.
Unsurprisingly, All of a Sudden does not thrust Explosions into foreign waters but rather proceeds with a caution that some may find unnerving, while others will simply choose to bask in their color smeared canvas that makes up tracks such as “So Long, Lonsome,” an aptly titled tune that may be the greatest break-up song to never whisper a word. Like the majority of the album, the song spreads out its structure and its movements like puzzle pieces that congeal to form a larger than life picture of sadness, abandonment and ultimately hope.
Sigúr Rós – ( )
Mogwai – Happy Songs For Happy People
Explosions in the Sky – The Earth is Not a Dead, Cold Place
MP3: “Welcome, Ghosts”