Monday, October 31st, 2005
For a band that had originally said they were going to keep a low profile in 2005, Explosions In The Sky are certainly keeping busy. Just this month, they released not one but two records – a reissue of their long sought-after and out-of-print debut How Strange, Innocence and the contribution to Travels In Constants mail-order series, a mini-album entitled The Rescue.
It’s interesting to compare and contrast the two releases, seeing as how they’re documents of the band at the very start of their careers and in the right now, yet were recorded in somewhat similar fashions. As the liner notes for How Strange, Innocence state (they’re printed directly on the face of the CD), the band had been together for just seven months before it holed up and produced this album in just four days from recording to mastering. Their green-ness is definitely evident in listening to the album, especially if you’ve heard their later works. The compositions aren’t nearly as focused and while there are moments that foreshadow where they’re going, it sounds mostly like a what it is – a new band feeling out their new surroundings and exploring.
The Rescue, on the other hand, oozes confidence. Even under the limitations put on the recording sessions (apparently wrote and recorded one song a day for eight days), there’s a unity and commonness of purpose within the band that’s tangible. The musical chemistry hinted at in the first record is in full effect here. In addition to their core guitar/bass/drum sound, there are also some ambient vocals and piano flourishes which, while seemingly minor, do add a new dimension to the EITS sound. If The Rescue is any indication of where EITS are heading, they’re following the natural evolution of the post-rock instrumental band wherein they discover there’s much more interesting territory to be explored in beauty than aggression. Whenever the new album comes out next year (someone said Fall?), expect it to be a scorcher.
In the meantime, check out a track from How Strange, Innocence:
And while legit mail-order pressings of The Rescue are all sold out, thanks to the magic of the internet, it’s still available to those who want a copy… and the band is fine with it. Quoth EITS:
“We can only assume that it will be available on various file sharing sites soon, so please feel free to download it. We don’t mind.”
And there you go. They will have copies with them on tour this Fall, but their schedule is limited to the UK, a couple European shows and a pair of shows in NY and LA… not much use for most of us (or me, anyway). That’s why I have no qualms about posting the YouSendIt link from which I downloaded my copy. I don’t know how long these things last, but if it goes dead anytime soon, let me know – I still have the .rar file on my desktop.
MusicTAP has details on next year’s Richard Thompson box set. Cleverly titled RT: The Life And Music Of Richard Thompson, the set offers five discs of completely rare and unreleased recordings from throughout his career as well as a 160-page (!) book. Those are some mighty liner notes. The collection is out February 6 – check out the full press release here.
A cryptic message has appeared on the Wheat website… “everyday i said a prayer for kathy and made a one inch square – 2006”. Can you say hiatus over? Sweet. Oh, and does anyone have the complete Nude version of Per Second Per Second Per Second Every Second? I’ve only got three or four of the tracks and would like to track down the whole thing. I know it’s out there.
np – Yo La Tengo / Prisoners Of Love: A Smattering of Scintillating Senescent Songs: 1985-2003