Monday, October 15, 2007

Explosions in the Sky - All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone

Upon listening to Explosions in the Sky you'd think the band would be perfect for scoring a movie. You would be right. In fact, they composed the soundtrack to the film adaptation of Friday Night Lights. Before doing this, the kids from Austin, Texas gained a grassroots reputation for their intense live performances where their staple is the magnitude of emotion in their act. They defy most conventions with instrumental rock since they are incredibly dynamic. While not every song is a hit (and some can be quite boring), they have the ability to really strike emotional chords with listeners. While it may seem corny or cheesy that instrumental rock could have such emotive power, it certainly says something about the skill and breadth of the band. What they seek to demonstrate is mostly that beauty requires tension prior to being resolved, and can be discovered within apparent chaos.

On their newest effort All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone (2/20/07) they hit on their normal style of swirling guitars and heavy snare and symbol drummed rhythms. Their maturity shines through this album which requires patience from its listeners. With tracks ranging from 4 to 13 minutes in length, songs are allowed to grow, fester, rattle, and reach their zenith organically. Their sound is definitely distinctive, with their particular guitar timbre and and sometimes frenetic drumming. One of the things that makes the music emotionally compelling and successful is Explosions' mastery of the crescendo. Few bands have such dramatic and perfectly timed rises in both volume and intensity that Explosions manages to carry out. Some bands get very quite only to come back blaring the speakers, but within the gradual dramatic increased volume allows them to accomplish varying degrees of emotion. While some may find Explosions in the Sky boring or tedious or uninteresting, their music is nonetheless interesting. They manage to create emotive instrumental soundscapes, which is rare in the world of rock music and should be applauded.

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