Explosions in the Sky How Strange, Innocence (Sad Loud America)
Reviewed by Christopher Hess, Fri., June 30, 2000
Explosions in the Sky
How Strange, Innocence (Sad Loud America)With the exquisite instrumental music of Explosions in the Sky highlighting the last KVRX compilation, Reburbished Robots, it comes as no surprise that the local quartet's debut, How Strange, Innocence, settles easily into long stretches on your stereo. The songs and instrumental interactions are both remarkably complex and developed for a band that's only been together approximately a year. How Strange, Innocence takes a set of familiar sounds and structures that in some hands might come off as pretentious and self-indulgent, and works them into a well-executed series of original, euphonious tunes. Over and over, the group builds up layers of guitar and effects into intense mounds of sonic interplay and then, suddenly, topples them in on themselves, leaving the fragmented melodies reeling in the cloudy absence. "Snow and Lights" exists through this progression, and "Magic Hours" adds to it an uncharacteristically driving and brutal drum part. "Remember Me as a Time of Day," the song from the KVRX compilation, is here as well. How Strange, Innocence was recorded at the Bubble, the South Austin studio of local superstars Sixteen Deluxe, whose Steven T. Hall acts as producer here, and because Explosions in the Sky don't dwell in the mopery and trance-inducing repetition that's characteristic of this style of rock music, this tightly fleshed and dynamic album is a truly commendable first effort.