Review : Explosions in the Sky - Take Care, Take Care, Take Care
BbcTexan quartet Explosions in the Sky have been leading lights of their genre since forming over a decade ago. Crafting songs that, true to the band’s name, burst like collapsing stars in the darkest night (after prolonged and intense build-ups of swirling soundscapes), they’ve become one of post-rock’s archetypal bands. Oddly, given how well their songs have fitted (or perhaps designed) that genre’s template, it’s a term the band would never use themselves. And with Take Care, Take Care, Take Care – their sixth studio album – they certainly move away from the traditional trappings of that genre.
Of course, that’s not to say that these six songs are wildly different in scope to the dramatic instrumental journeys that the band has crafted in the past. They still sound like songs by Explosions in the Sky and, with the record clocking in at over 45 minutes, they’re just as epic as anything in their back catalogue. Yet whereas before songs swelled until they blew open in cacophonous crescendos of blissful, beautiful noise, now, instead of slow-motion momentum to jaw-dropping climaxes, these songs are a continual denouement. They ebb and flow with grace and determination from the offset.
Early on, Last Known Surroundings settles into a hypnotic cadence that’s powerful yet understated, repetitive yet exciting. Rather than increase in intensity, it’s a constant, mesmerising pulse that grabs you right from the start. Although only three-and-a-half minutes long, Trembling Hands is equally enthralling; the sound of the universe expanding infinitely. Postcard from 1952 and the tumbling, trembling finale of Let Me Back In both sound like they’ve existed in the atmosphere for centuries, appearing like distant galaxies that have just been waiting to be discovered....full text
UnderthegunreviewExplosions in the Sky should need no introduction, as purveyors of some of the most affecting, beautiful instrumental music going. Their works are temperate and ambient, gentle and melodic, infused with real depth and tenderness so that even when just playing in the background, they somehow find a way to bury deep into your conscious and touch your soul. This latest album is no different – though technically an EP of six songs, the songs are for the most part so lengthy and intricate that it feels more diverse and sprawling than your average full length.
“Last Known Surroundings” is an expansive, quirky beginning. It features slightly odd, almost wild reverberations at the outset before fading into a more traditional EITS-style rolling beat and luminous melody. This steady undercurrent hosts a delicious, twinkling series of notes that filter through the repetitious base to add a touch of wonder and adventure to proceedings. It feels very much like the optimistic beginning of a voyage, with its hallucinogenic sound effects and the tender, hopeful plain of guitar notes.
“Human Qualities,” which follows, is quite subdued by comparison. It opens faintly, using the same barely-there ethereal effects and thrills to soothe and inspire. This is another lengthy song, and quite vivid and diverse throughout. After a few moments, the fragile opening fades away to a beautiful choral hum, and all falls silent except for one throbbing, yet barely distinguishable, drum beat. It livens up then, gradually building fervor and momentum, before unleashing an urgent sprawl for the final minute and a half. The light guitar twangs are still the most striking element, but the engrossing and atmospheric sounds behind them are essential in adding layers of wonder to the song....full text
PitchforkOn April 26, the epic Texan instrumental rock band Explosions in the Sky return with Take Care, Take Care, Take Care (Temporary Residence Ltd.), the band's first studio album since 2007's All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone. The band produced the album themselves, with John Congleton (Modest Mouse, Walkmen) recorded and mixing. We've got the tracklist below. Also below, you can hear a clip of music from the album set to some totally fucking sick basketball footage. Too bad the NBA didn't let Explosions in the Sky join this year's Slam Dunk Contest; they would've owned that shit....full text
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