3.25.2010

My Horn Can Pierce The Sky

The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place by Explosions in the Sky

The first time I heard Explosions in the Sky I was in my senior year of high school, probably skipping class, probably trying to balance the idea of ending the only life I was familiar with and starting the life I would have after I graduated.

For my senior year, nothing went as planned. I did not expect that moment of hopelessness before college application deadlines were due, wondering if this was what I really wanted. I did not expect the shame and isolation I felt, trying to convince myself that I could get into the university I wanted to be in. I did not know I would be sequestered from my peers, I did not know I would not want to go to my own graduation ceremony (nor did I know that I would go anyway).

But for all the crushing moments I didn't expect, there were the brilliant moments I would never have hoped to dream for. Getting into the university I had dreamed of attending since I was in middle school, the first kiss stolen in a corridor of the school, connecting with some of the most amazing people who still persist to be my best friend, even when I'm not very friendly, even when they are scattered around the world. Even just the moments under the line of trees, grabbing armfuls of red and orange leaves and taunting the other students stuck in the classroom with our playground antics.

The Earth is Not A Cold Dead Place is Explosions in the Sky's attempt at love songs. With the same ominous, building melodies and emotionally cathartic climaxes, the album differs greatly from previous efforts in the overall sense of warmth. The album opens with a heartbeat and a single guitar mimicking a heart monitor on the track "First Breath After Coma". Though the track looks like a staggering 9 and a half minutes, the long build-up is never drawn out or boring; instead, melodies intertwine beautifully, rising and falling and feeding into climaxes. With only five tracks spanning 45 minutes, the length of many of the tracks seem at the very least daunting, but only "Memorial" manages to make its length felt, but even those 9 minutes are not wasted, as it makes "Your Hand in Mine" that much more memorable. The brevity of the album is actually one of its strong points; instead of letting the build-up/climax formula become repetitive, the album flows seamlessly from one track to the next, so that the songs rise and fall like breaths rather than follow formulas.

Though there is not a single lyric in the entire album, it's hard to ignore the sense of hope and love present in the album. Even post-rock bands need to have their love songs, and "The Only Moment We Were Alone", "Six Days at the Bottom of the Ocean" and "Your Hand in Mine" succeed at this wonderfully.

1 comment:

Matt Stevens said...

Awesome band - very inspiring