Sound: Explosions in the sky, who have pretty much become the face of post-modern instrumental rock along with Mogwai and Godspeed You! Black Emporer, return with their 5th studio album, following 2005's limited release in "The Rescue". Explosions in the sky have pinned down their own sound that we caught glimpses of in "How Strange, Innocence", and in seven years perfected it. Shimmering twin guitar lines weave effortlessly in and out of each other, with the bass and drums lying patiently underneath to strike. Beautiful melodies, coupled with bombastic explosions of sonic chaos give Explosions an strong identity and a nice atvantage over their peers. The songs are so organic and natural, and the band has such a great feel for melody, timing and tension building and release, it's really unparalelled by any other instrumental band out today.
On All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone, they have got their sound down to a science. They're never bound by any formula or pattern however, the songs flow naturally and freely, never seem drawn out or two short, and many times flow into the following tracks giving the album a nice sense of atmosphere and continuity. We're met in the opening seconds by a fuzzy wall of distortion and feedback, playing a simple three chord progression. Then everything becomes real and loud and the music explodes and seeps from the speakers, shimmering guitar picking upon overdistorted guitar and bass, with crashing cymbals blanketing everything. From the opening seconds of the record, you think epic. massive. and absolutely gorgeous. The entire album is epic, from the opening seconds of sonic chaos, to the closing track of cascading pianos and fingerpicked guitars. Every song, every note is carefully placed and wonderfully crafted, the album really has an atmosphere and a sound all their own. That is one of the things I think is great about Explosions, they re-invent themselves with each album. "Those who tell the truth... " had an atmosphere that was grungy, dark and forboding, "How Strange, Innocence" had an atmosphere that was carefree, and "The world is not a cold dead place" had an atmosphere that was fragile and romantic. This record carries an atmosphere that captures a feeling of solitairity and lonliness, as the title states.
And my god, it's just down right beautiful. Songs "What Do You Go Home To?" and the closer "So Long, Lonesome", are so heartfelt and hold such aesthetic appeal through their music, while songs like "Catastrophe and the Cure" and "The Birth and Death of a Day" play loud and fast. Their sound, their aesthetics, and feel for the music is unmatched. The sound they display here is entirely unique and entirely their own, a sound they've perfected to a science, but yet are never held by boundaries or formulas. // 10
Lyrics: What I find most interesting about this band is that, without the use of words or vocals, they are able to convey more emotion and beauty than almost any band I've ever heard. Each song moves like a narrative in a story, my favorite example being the 14 minute epic, "It's Natural to be Afraid". Explosions paints such vivid pictures with their music, you can see that man on the cover of the album, bobbing around in his boat all alone and the sea stirs and swells, slowly devouring him. There simply is no room, or for that matter, any need for lyrics. The songs are fantastic the way they are. // 10
Overall Impression: This is an essential recording for even the casual fan of Explosions in the sky. I've come to terms that this band cannot release a bad record. There is not one down spot anywhere in the Explosions catalogue, and this record is no exception. While this may not be as groundbreaking as the bombastic and visionary "Those who tell the truth shall die" or as romantic as "The earth is not a cold dead place", it is still an extremely rewarding listen, and an excercise in musical beauty by the masters of the trade. This is an essential addition to any Explosions collection, or for that matter, any collection at all. I highly reccomend this record to any fan of instrumental music, or for those looking to get into instrumental music. Very engaging, very rewarding listen. // 9