Explosions In The Sky The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place

[Temporary Residence; 2003]

Styles: instrumental rock, dramatic soundtrack music
Others: Mogwai, Mono, Maserati, Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Whenever I speak of Texas, I tend to sound like one of those morons on E!’s Wild On specials. I usually tell my friends about all of the crazy people I’ve met from the lone star state. They’re loud, psycho, and memorable. Explosions In The Sky are from Texas.

The album title The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place sounds nice enough, at least nicer than their debut album’s title (Those That Tell The Truth Shall Die). Released just a week before 9/11, Explosions’ debut took awhile to come out from the fallout. But after it finally achieved its much-deserved recognition, it essentially breathed new life into instrumental post-rock, a genre that was drowning in its own wank for some time.

Two years later, Explosions In The Sky are the only instrumental post-rock band that matters, and The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place is proof. Five expansive tracks that are beautiful, melodic, angelic, thunderous, quiet, and yes, explosive, this Austin quartet retains the trademark shimmering guitar notes and the high-caliber buildups & crescendos of their first release. And it's done so convincingly.

The track titles may hint at some pain and despair (“1st Breath After Coma,” “Memorial”), but this album sounds more glorious than the last. It’s strange to find something optimistic in a song called “Memorial,” but it just feels positive and full of life. Although I normally abstain from using such adjectives, I can't help but use them for this undeniably special album by this undeniably special band. I’ll see you in Texas.

1. First Breath After Coma
2. The Only Moment We Were Alone
3. Six Days at the Bottom of the Ocean
4. Memorial
5. Your Hand in Mine