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Jack’s Mannequin Rocks ND

Observer Scene | Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Since coming onto the scene in 1999, Explosions in the Sky has mad some of the most intense, emotionally rich music in the genre of post-rock.

Put simply, post-rock is the use of rock instruments like guitars, drums, and bass to create musical styles that are not common to rock music. Most post-rock bands, including Explosions in the Sky, are purely instrumental.

The band creates beautifully layered textures and narrative guitar lines with their instruments, and uses this talent to grab the listener.

In 2000, they released their first album, “How Strange, Innocence”. It was first released on just 300 CD-Rs, but they re-released it in 2005, and fans were able to see how they got their start.

In the debut album album, their sound is more stripped down, but their ear for arrangements is apparent. Songs like “Snow and Lights” and “Glittering Blackness” show basic textures that are the beginnings of more thickly layered songs on their later albums.

The album “The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place” from 2003 presents a hopeful view of life. While the title says the Earth is not awful, one had to think it was initially to need that kind of assurance.

In “The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place,” the band fully realizes everything they are trying to achieve. Intricate guitar lines, precise drum work and explosive crescendos lend to an emotional palette only Explosions in the Sky can create. The songs “Memorial” and “Your Hand in Mine” are perfect representations of what the band does best.

Finally, in 2007, they released “All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone.” For the first time, the album did not show any measurable development in the band’s sound, besides a small introduction of piano into their music. But this latest work still provides some solid songs.

The band also released an EP entitled “The Rescue” in 2005, in which they wrote and recorded a song a day for eight consecutive days. In many ways, this is their most accessible due to the relatively short lengths of the songs. The band also did the entire soundtrack to the film “Friday Night Lights.”

The music of Explosions in the Sky is some of the most explosive (no pun intended), rich, emotional, cathartic and beautiful music you will ever hear. The fact that they are able to draw so much out of basic rock instruments is incredible. The music of Explosions in the Sky is almost too epic, if only it didn’t fit so well within our lives.