Explosions in the Sky

Texas Platters

Phases and Stages

Explosions in the Sky

Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever (Temporary Residence) "This plane will crash tomorrow" states a now-prophetic blurb on the inside album sleeve. "Help us stay alive," pleads a slogan on the opposite page, underneath the sketch of an angel. Fear, hope, death, redemption ... ambitious subjects for any rock band, let alone a local one that utters not a single word. Explosions in the Sky let their music do the talking, and the message comes across loud and clear, soft and subtly, with a tightly focused passion unheard of from a band that uses only guitar, bass, and drums to communicate. The fireworks start right off with "Greet Death," a blinding flash of glorious guitar squall and crashing cymbals that, at the three-minute mark, fades into the night, replaced by a faint, contemplative melodic residue. These shards deliberately coalesce into an arresting whole, as bright and hopeful as the sunrise. "Yasmin the Light" lays down a pair of simultaneous melodies, one full of promise, one full of anxiety. Suddenly, the anxiety explodes into a fiery cloud of Mogwai-style violence. Just as abruptly, the distortion ceases, and the remaining line emerges with a more cheery tenor. These shifts and curves are the band's modus operandi, in which every theme is an image and every song a repository of drama as gripping in its intensity as it is friendly in its tuneful progression. Those Who Tell the Truth reveals scores of hypnotic instro-rock outfits as charlatans, and raises the bar for all musicians by holding expressiveness in its proper esteem, just above elegance.

****

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Explosions in the Sky

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