Explosions In The Sky - All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone
Some bands seem to be intrinsically influenced by their surroundings and where they were formed. The Austin, Texas crew Explosions In The Sky are one of these bands. Their previous record, The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place, was an amazing soundtrack to wide, open expanses of land that could only have been made by individuals growing up and living in an expanse of land that is Texas.
All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone has taken these ideas and themes but has embellished them and contorted them with influences outside their original frame of reference. As they've travelled the world touring, little bits of their new surroundings have embedded themselves into their music writing. Whereas previous albums have been recorded with your basic guitars and drums, here extra instrumentation has been added to create a further depth to their sound - piano and strings have been infused into the mix to bolster the already formidable sound.
As a starting point, The Birth And Death Of The Day is a phenomenal way to start a record. Starting with the dull fuzz of guitars, the drums kick in as another wall of shrilling guitars float over the bass heavy intro. It's a track that just builds and builds to an epic finale, thundering along at a frenetic pace, there's a section half way through that sends shivers down my spine, precluded by a quiet lull before the storm. These delicately picked guitars duel until a crash of drums explodes like a sun going supernova, guitars arching through one another and feeding back into one huge wall of sound, it's just amazing.
Things don't quite hit these levels again in the album, but the soundscapes that these guys have managed to create are just mesmerising. The additional instruments have freshened up the sound. The 13-minute centre piece It's Natural To Be Afraid sounds like Mogwai on their debut, delicate ideas and themes all sinister in tone mixing and meandering until it reaches a formidable crescendo of noise. What Do You Go Home To? begins with a gentle rumbling of piano and ethereal sounding guitars, the piano being the major hook here for all the rest of the sounds to hang off.
Whilst this album hasn't really done anything new in the whole "post-rock" genre, it's been executed in such a way that it sounds fresh. The songs all segue into one another, hitting epic hights and delicate lows, all executed with such precision and aplomb. It sounds like the soundtrack to our times; a heady mix of epic highs and delicate lows with hints of sinister undertones and yet uplifting passages. An amazing and epic piece of work.