Explosions in the Sky

Record review

Texas Platters

Explosions in the Sky

How Strange, Innocence (Temporary Residence)

How strange, imperfection. The barely pressed CD-R debut of Austin's instrumental virtuosos Explosions in the Sky, recorded over two days locally in 2000, is finally redigitized and illustrated in Picasso's blue period. Time to stop kicking oneself for not buying the vinyl reprint at the merch table on the last tour. A good boot is actually what How Strange, Innocence needs. When drums and bass wake opener "A Song for Our Fathers," none of the explosions in the sky of sophomore effort Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever go off. The delicacy of most intros predicts the crystalline classicism of follow-up The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place, but the production is see-through. Each track is selfishly self-exploratory, "Snow and Lights" drifting for seven minutes until its muffled explosions. "Magic Hours" flirts with chord progressions that dip and channel to full fruition on Earth, but again the track never quite fills. The original vinyl gave the record noticeably deeper grooves. One exception is the sublime "Look Into the Air," sounding like a cloud that escaped from the West Texas sky of the Friday Night Lights soundtrack. Follow-up "Glittering Blackness" lives up to its title, creeping slowly into the moonlight, and while "Time Stops" is titled too close for comfort for half its 10 minutes, it eventually lights up like Christmas. Closer "Remember Me As a Time of Day" isn't quite so memorable. Any fan will want How Strange, Innocence, and rightly so, just don't expect perfection.

**.5

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