Sound — 8
In the winter of 2000, Explosions In the Sky set out from Austin, Texas, to Baltimore, Maryland to record their debut album, "Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Live Forever." About a week later, the band leaves with a completed record, scheduling some shows on the way home. One particular show was in Syracuse, where the band's van broke down, and they lived for eight days in a strangers attic, stranded because of the van. fast forward five years, two records and plenty of other van problems later, Explosions is approached by their label Temporary Residence to partake in a series called Travels in Constants. This record was a limited release, reserved for online purchase and sold at shows only, but is now available on the bands website due to popular demand. This is essentially an experimental album. Explosions wrote and recorded eight songs in eight days, one for each day spent in that stranger's attic in Syracuse, on which the album's concept is based. They still retain their own sound, but branch out in style and execution for each song, experimenting with different instruments sounds, and structures. For example, this is the first record where pianos and keyboards, even a xylophone and bells take a main part in the music (see "Day One", "Day Four" and "Day Seven"). The drums also take on many different patterns, in leui of the militaristic snare rolls often employed by the drummer. This format makes for some very interesting songs, and a lot of great ideas. but due to the brevity of the album and the concept of writing and recording a song in the same day, these just remain ideas. There really are some great ideas on this album, my personal favorite being "Day 6", and I think that if they took some time to develop these ideas into full songs, they could make a really unique album. But the nature of the recording is what it is and it's great the way it is.
Lyrics — 8
This is; wait for it; the first time Explosions in the Sky have ever sung on a record. It doesn't have any lyrics, but just them singing to compliment the melody, but I did say it was experimental, and they are singing for the first time. It's actually not that bad. The only other vocal work that shows up is the band memebers talking in the backround of the track "Day 3" about their experience in syracue.
Overall Impression — 8
This is an interesting sidetrack and a nice little treat for fans of Explosions. This however, is not really an album for first time listeners of the band to get into, due to it's largely experimental nature. It is however, a rewarding and satisfying listen to fans of the band, and probably people who aren't familiar with the band as well, it just isn't as accessable as their other material. Once again, I would have loved to see these ideas developed into full songs, but the concept of the album was eight songs in eight days, and so it stands. It has a lot of good ideas and is a great record that doesn't take itself too seriously, a necassary addition to any explosions in the sky collection. You can download this album free at explosions in the sky's official website, www.explosionsinthesky.com since it is out of print and is not sold in stores, due to popular demand, the band has offered the album to fans for free.