Explosions in the Sky How Strange, Innocence (Sad Loud America)

Texas Platters

Record Reviews

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.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Warm Sugar
Warm Sugar (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, March 22, 2019

Texas Platters
Oh Boy (Record Review)

Elise Barbin, March 22, 2019

More by Christopher Hess
Phases & Stages
Rob Halverson
Second Whirled (Record Review)

Feb. 4, 2005

Phases and Stages
Stratford 4
Love and Distortion (Record Review)

March 14, 2003


Explosions in the Sky

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle