Explosions In The Sky
The Rescue, 180G Anniversary Edition LP
Thanks to a series of phenomenal albums and a reputation for jaw-dropping live performances, Explosions in the Sky have become one of the strongest voices in post-rock. Even so, it was surprising when the band was commissioned to provide the score for the high school football film Friday Night Lights, a movie whose core audience has likely never heard of them. The soundtrack's subtle, moody compositions were unlike their typically explosive, epic work, and that shift toward a quieter, more delicate sound is found again on volume 21 of Temporary Residence Limited's mail-order-only Travels in Constants series.
For The Rescue, Explosions in the Sky recorded eight songs in eight days, creating a slightly disconnected affair, with the band in an atypically casual, carefree mood. Freeing themselves from the constraints of a normal cohesive thematic unit, they branch out, experimenting with new instruments, voices, and moods. Although the songs lack some of the tension-building dynamics of their previous works, they are still compelling, passionate, and full of beautiful elements and energetic performances, and many of the band's more recognizable characteristics-- hollow, bright guitar tones, marching snare rolls, and sorrowful yet ultimately triumphant melodies-- are still here.
The tracks are titled "Day One" through "Day Eight", presumably representing the day each was arranged and recorded. "Day One" opens with a quiet feedback and shuffling drumbeat would easily fit in on either of the last two full lengths. On "Day Two", new paths unfold. The track's primary instrument is the piano, and a chorus of oohs and aahs swirls throughout. It's the first time vocals have graced an Explosions in the Sky track, but they're used primarily as texture rather than the song's focus.