Release Date: Nov 4, 2003
Record label: Temporary Residence
Genre(s): Indie, Rock, Instrumental
Explosions in the Sky's second effort takes a more studied, even lush approach to the literate chaos of their 2001 debut. But put on your sad sack thinking cap now, because Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place is a contemplative and heady rush of masterful melancholia. Its six songs are multi-minute, slow motion workouts of gentle electric guitar plucks and subtle/sudden washes of percussion -- they're still instrumental, but as lyrical as anything in the indie rock universe.
If the idea of an album of instrumentals filled with titles such as First Breath After Coma sounds like heavy going, this Texan four-piece are here to make us think again. Their UK debut could have been sonically designed to make the world more beautiful. They're clearly fond of the kind of celestial, spangly guitars that gave us the Cocteau Twins, Durutti Column and Galaxie 500, although they have thrown in some military drums.
Well-substantiated rumor has it that Explosions in the Sky got signed to Temporary Residence thanks to fellow Austin-dwellers American Analog Set, who submitted their self-recorded first album, How Strange, Innocence, with a note reading "this totally fucking destroys. " While the album certainly does destroy by AmAnSet’s standards (so does most anything above a polite whisper), Explosions' incendiary potential didn't really come out until 2001's Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever. Played every bit as prophetically as it's titled, the quartet's second record is awesome because of its innate and thorough understanding of the drama it takes to make post-rock exciting.