Wed Dec 10
The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place is the name of Austin, Texas band Explosions in the Sky's second record, and it's the point of it, too. After a stint of making sweeping, dramatic oceans of guitar and drum music that was splendorous yet depressing, the instrumental quartet decided they wanted to make sweeping, dramatic oceans of guitar and drum music that was splendorous and joyful and triumphant. Fuck that depressing shit. Explains bass player Munaf Rayani, "Our last record was not completely dark, but it was much darker than this one. We wanted this record to be hopeful. With those words in our heads, we started writing songs. We wanted it to be ten times more uplifting and heartbreakingÉ and somewhere in there is romance."
The uplift heartbreak is manifest in dynamics, of course, the miasmatic, crescendo-decrescendo wash of sound that often characterizes the instrumental/orchestral rock of Explosions' oeuvre, and it reveals itself delicately, drumming on point, subtle melodies building and blossoming like a new language. Earth has its own narrative, beginning with the imagery of "First Breath After Coma."
Explosions are not in the business of executing anything half-assed, and this is probably why dramatic words like "romance" and "heartbreak" pop up a lot in their own language. (One of the songs on their last record, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever, is titled, simply, "Die.") Observes Rayani, "I think that plays into a lot of things we do. We just like the extremes better. "
"I'm sorry our stuff is so over the top," Rayani continues. "I think that's just [an element] that drives us to keep writing songs. It's an amazing feeling that this is what we get to do with our stupid lives. I get to travel the world with my best friends! We love to play shows, we love to put out these records. We think about it every day--how the hell did this happen? We're not musical virtuosos; we don't even know what kind of drums and amps we're playing!" he laughs. "I feel very lucky that I don't have to deliver bread for a living."