Ayo Jegede
reviews editor
July 05, 2004
Amazon Disco:
The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place
November 4, 2003
Temporary Residence
Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever
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Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place
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Rock Music Reviews
Explosions in The Sky
Earth is Not a Cold, Dead Place

instrumental post-rock is prey to summary and dismissive opinions simply because of its architecture. what can really be said about the unabridged and seemingly unmanaged constituent guitars, drums, and bass except that it's a jam session put to cd. the differences between each non-vocal post-rock group are difficult to find, much less the differences between the albums each one makes. asked what the difference between Godspeed You Black Emperor's! Slow Riot for New Zero Canada and Yanqui U.X.O is, i struggle to create a cogent argument, seeing as how they are, prima facie, alike. the same formula of diminutive, crackling guitar plucks --> fire and brimstone apogee --> resolution can be mapped out for just about every song and makes any critical praise suspect.

but each band doesn't count on the music as the sole source of ideation and theme development. if one exercises a greater degree of cautious observation, themes and ideas emerge without any knowledge of the sound at all. the way Explosions In The Sky, an Austin, TX quartet, manage to provide a theme is through glorious brusqueness. the contour of the music is directly influenced by the manner it is displayed, and the shape of Earth is Not a Cold, Dead Place is decidedly positive. the linter notes sport pictures by Esteban Rey depicting a compacted version of the life cycle with a dilapidated tree trunk and its dying leaves flung indiscriminately in the air turning into doves landing on a rose bush. Explosions in The Sky employed brutal directness on their last album, Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Live Forever, except that it was far more foreboding: released on September 10, 2001, it featured the words "This Plane Will Crash Tomorrow."

even the song titles offer prescience--'Your Hand In Mine,' 'First Breath After Coma,' 'Memorial,'--even if the songs themselves may not. i should still say that the detailed appearance doesn't trump the music itself, which is tighter, more cautious, and far less macabre than their previous effort and the efforts of their experimental post-rock cohorts. the guitars show a little more glimmer, the bass is a lot warmer, and the drumming not as confrontational or eerily scientific. you shouldn't expect to enjoy Earth... unless the overarching idea is understood and kept in mind. it may not be iterated in unabashed detail, but there are ample tinges of hope and light that certainly reinforce Earth's... goal. post-rock isn't ineffable, it's just that words don't suffice sometimes.

Release date: November 4, 2003
Label: Temporary Residence
Rating: 8.0 / 10