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Album Review

Explosions In The Sky – The Wilderness

Explosions In The Sky - The Wilderness

EITS reinvent themselves and take you further.

Label: Bella Union
Released: 1st April 2016

Rating: ★★★★

For the uninitiated, Explosions In The Sky have been one of those names that for many was their introduction to the world of instrumental post-rock across the 00s, being at the forefront of the popular end of it throughout that decade. They’ve also been noted for their soundtrack compositions and have been busy dishing out three recent works for feature-length films since their last LP, 2011s ‘Take Care, Take Care, Take Care’. That record had all its own qualities, but didn’t quite match up to its extremely compelling predecessor, 2007’s ‘All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone’ or their earlier work, and in 2016 we’ve got the first batch of studio recordings in 5 years. Thankfully, the opening moments of ‘The Wilderness’ alert you to something different this time around.

Effectively an intro track, ‘Wilderness’ teases at the new instrumentation additions to come, mostly electronic. It’s unclear if EITS can pull this off initially, but five minutes in and you’re convinced by how much these new synths and electronics complement the often playful melodic nature that this band supplies. ‘Tangle Formation’ and ‘Logic Of A Dream’ bring much grander and emotionally involving trips eventually leading towards one of the biggest tracks of the album ‘Disintegration Anxiety’, starting with demented reversed sounds and dominated by enormous groove. There’s sounds all across this record that could be right out of a sci-fi film soundtrack, creeping one moment, unendingly vast the next. By the latter half you realise this record is entirely framed around exploring those spaces, that much is clear even without noticing track titles.

EITS took you on some very grand and expansive journeys in the past as just three guys playing guitar and a drum kit. Now they reinvent themselves and take you further, out into deep space and back again to the inside of your mind, all more cinematic than ever. James Fox