The Austin Chronicle

Texas Platters

Reviewed by Raoul Hernandez, February 23, 2007, Music

Explosions in the Sky

All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone (Temporary Residence)

Unlocking Explosions in the Sky's instrumental code requires neither the scientific method nor classical training. Guitar technicians won't necessarily have the delicate upper hand. Emotions are the only essential. All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone, the Austin quartet's fourth proper album, follows four years of not following up 2003's Vivaldiesque, The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place. In between, Friday Night Lights' "West Texas" score, 2004, and the reissue of EITS's CD-R debut, the exploratory How Strange, Innocence the following year, filled in with cloud drifts of cinematic proportions, major and indie. The weight [sic] for All of a Sudden proves far worthier than most presidential terms. Three's the magic number here, the album's six tracks in 43 minutes dividing into a trio of movements brought together by the connective tissue of three additional sentiments. A deluxe version of the album includes a bonus disc remixing the entire piece in order; Jesu, Adem, the Paper Chase, Mountains, Four Tet, and Eluvium manage to hone and expand Everyone's longing. Where 2005 tour EP The Rescue condensed eight days into 33 minutes, Everyone opener "The Birth and Death of the Day" cycles through an Earthbound rotation in steps: opening statement (streaming sunlight), molten peak (heat saturation), and prior to the eight-minute mark, transition into the comet shower of "Welcome, Ghosts." Both tracks act as prologue to the big burning orb at the center of Everyone, 13 mood-altering minutes of "It's Natural to Be Afraid." On it, mystery breaks into inner space, where spins the harmonic weave and tonal collusion at the heart of this atom mother: guitar translucency. In the tune's final third, redemption rings like a marching band shot out of a canon. Round and round it goes, a dizzying big bang of ever-heightening crescendo in 3-D. Sonar ebb at the end eases the come down. In one track, Explosions in the Sky anthologizes its whole career while shattering its own Sistine ceiling. Can a single-cut EITS full-length mushroom into anything other than epic inevitability? Everyone's last three tracks coalesce into a final chapter, "What Do You Go Home To?" humming at a speed-train frequency that sets up "Catastrophe and the Cure," the album's feel-good hit. At eight minutes, it too divides into distinct movements, segueing into poignant piano piece "So Long, Lonesome," which draws the blinds on All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone with a flourishing thump. Transcendental codification.


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