Explosions in the sky - All of a sudden I miss everyone
After loving the last album by Explosions in the sky, expectations were very high for this one.
There are a couple of editions of this album. Firstly in the US the album is released on Temporary Residence while the European label is Bella Union. secondly, for those copies sold through smaler indie shops, there is the bonus of a cd of remixes. This extra cd comes with bit the US/European cd/vinyl special editions.
So to get this cd, I bought a copy of the album locally despite the stiff asking price of 32euro. That's over 40 dollars.
THe package itself is simply stunning. The records come in their own inner picture sleeves, housed inside a gatefold cover all with the same colourful matt finish with intriguing artwork. Seemingly, of a drowned village at nighttime. The two vinyl discs have music spread across two sides. The fourth, like before, is etched with a similar drawing to that on the cover. Disc 1 is delicious cream coloured vinyl, while disc two is a very dark purple.
Musically, so far, I have been a bit disappointed with this album. I guess it is difficult to follow up such a supreme example as 'The earth is not a cold dead place...'. In fairness to the band, this album represents a change. All the elements that made the previous album so morosely beautiful and somehow too uplifting are there. But for instance, track one starts off with guitar drenched in feedback. In general too, the record seems to use dynamics to impress. We have many passages where the music goes from very quiet to very loud. This is not new, but the music behind it does not seem to have the substance to back it up. At times, the amount going on makes the music sound distorted and hard to listen to.
Side two has a lengthy intro while a soundscape is built up. Melodies are floating around, forming. For ages actually. Some feedback does make an entrance after a while. It all sounds like the soundtrack to an eerie movie. The feedback grows in volume almost drowning out all melody. This may appeal to Flying Saucer attack fans.
Eventually this all subsides and the next melody starts off gently plucked. Echoed sounds remind me a bit of Durutti column, but the melody is never so forcefully formed. It does form, but takes its time.
It seems to me as well on this record, as if percussion takes a more prominent role. And there is more play with instrumentation, songs melody structure.
Side 3 seems to have a massive 3 tracks on it :) The first of these sees the liveliest action on the album, fast guitar playing and military style percussion. And the next one. The very last track on the album, is gentler. It has a gorgeous piano line, interspersed with the ever present guitars, finally showering us again with hope for a bright future. Drums finally kick in with a wonderfully full sound, and then it all ends with a tinkling guitar outro.
All in all with this album, I find it noisier and more experimental than the last album. The melodies however are not as strong and more repetitive. The vinyl fetishist in me, however, simply adores the package and would but it for that alone. The mastering is well done but in general sounds digital and a bit harsh.