US - Texas - Full Moon 71 - 07/24/02
Explosions In The Sky
Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Live Forever
Story is: Year 2000. The American Analog Set sent Temporary Residence Ltd. a live cassette
with a note attached: "This totally fucking destroys!". The band was Explosions In The Sky
(EITS). Late 2001: Temporary Residence Ltd. released Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Die,
Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Live Forever (from now: Die/Live Forever...).
EITS is a Texan quartet (Christopher Hrasky, Michael James, Mark T. Smith, Munaf Rayani)
drawing soundscapes wide as Texas. Bagged as post-rock, often mentioned with Mogwai and Godspeed
You Black Empereor (GYBE). Yes. But I find EITS better. With a less apocalyptic sound and
a more concise organic sound than GYPBE, and better melodies and more delicate dynamics than
Mogwai. Because Die/Live Forever is pure magic. One side called 'Die', the other 'Live
Forever', 3 songs each. Stunning, breathtaking, mindblowing, bodymoving. Everything. Waves of
sentimentality and melancholy. But positively vibed. Low-voiced atmospheres followed by noisy
cascades of aggro guitars and punchy drum rolls. Mutilated beauty. Debasement tapes?
Side 'Die' kicks off with "Greet Death". Hmmm. Sounds scary. But fear not, we're not into
black-metal's territories of doom. Then! Comes: "Yasmin The Light". And what sound extravaganza.
Totally out of this world (even though the liner notes claims: 'there ain't no world but this
one'...). Outstanding. It starts real quiet - then: blast. A song that comes in waves, brushing
all over you. Dragging you off. Out. Down. Sssh. Quiet. And, maybe as an ode to our beloved
Kafé they end side one with "The Moon Is Down". Or is it inspired by John Steinbeck.
Well, right now the moon is on her/his way up and out there.
Side 'Live forever' presents the brilliant "Have You Passed Through This Night?", opening with
some whispering spoken word passages. Film quotes? From "The Thin Red Line"? A marvellous piece
of music. And when the drums punch in it's goose bumps-time. "A Poor Man's Memory" follows, with
rolling, marching band war drums. I get this strong feeling of a band promoting an anti-war message.
Fighting for peace. Seems perfect these times. With most of the world acting aggressively and
moronic. "With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept" (what a great title!) close the
album perfectly, rising, racing towards the sky. Like something tumbling faster and faster - downhill.
Copyright © 2002 Håvard Oppøyen