13 October 2014

This Will Destoy You - Another Language

Post Rock from Texas - no it is not Explosions In The Sky.  That always annoys me slightly, not because I have a dislike for EitS, they are a good band; there is just other bands out there doing a similar genre of music, with various degrees of success.  The band we are looking at today is This Will Destroy You and their latest work 'Another Language'.  Now, a brief history lesson - Formed in 2005 in San Marcos, Texas, the band have been plying their trade throughout the world, lost a few members along the way, gained a few as well and have shared the stage with some of the biggest legends in alternative rock & metal along the way.  After taking their name from a song that was deemed too pretentious and only becoming an instrumental band after they deemed their vocal ability awful, you could be at a lost to explain how a band that sounds so sombre also sound as if they constantly take the piss out of themselves.  Anyway, this album is their third studio album (fourth in total after a live album as well); time to see what it is all about.

The album starts off with "New Topia" which starts off the album with a sea of gentle notes and sounds, a little reverb here, a gentle guitar sound there; but you can sense the building, it is slow and patient yet it comes ever closer.  There is the odd lope to the bass in places which makes the sound prickly; the feedback builds until an uneasy and gentle calm descends on the song.  But then it post rock layering crashes back in, it has a strange reverb going on which makes some of the playing hard to follow; but it is certainly an interesting opening.  "Dustism" is the second song here, but to be honest it could have just been the extension of "New Topia" after an ambient relaxation period.  This is an extremely relaxing number, it does have a natural high in the middle; but overall it is more about the slower moments than anything else.  Third track "Serpent Mound" is a bit more like it, yes you have the gentle beginning; but when the band finally let rip with that wonderful wave of feedback and distortion, it just feels like such a euphoric release.  The strange loops and noises that keep coming from either speaker are electrifying. 

"War Prayer" is much like "Dustism", the dynamics between the lighter moments and the more dream like sections are not immediately evident; however on repeat listenings it does reveal its charms, slowly but surely it lets you in and it sinks deeper into your mind.  "The Puritan" is the shortest song of the album, just over three minutes in length it is more atmosphere than anything else; there is no crashing of drums or soaring guitars, it is all dream sequence for this track and it drifts in and to be honest it floats back out again without much impression.  The sixth track is "Mother Opate" is another slice of dream-pop/rock that will relax even the most aggressive of beasts, it does feel like you are in one of the relaxation sessions; but without the annoying voice to telling you how to breathe and touch your inner spirit.

The final third of this album starts off with "Invitation" which has a repetitive drum roll with the guitars wrapping themselves around the beat, moving away from that relaxation state of mind.  It feels like the band has awoken from that middle section of the album and that the blood is slowly returning to their bodies.  It is a beautifully slow building song that adds everything piece by slowly constructed piece. It builds to just the right peak and ends on a brilliant high note, this is a fantastic track.  The penultimate track is called "Memory Loss"; well if I am honest feel like a funeral march towards the end of the world.  It is majestic in construction and a wonder to behold, the sadness which seems to be part of this album is a joy to behold and it is incredibly thoughtful.  Ending the album is "God's Teeth", which wins song title of the album by a country mile.  The song itself is more reflective once again, which is perhaps the best ending for this album.  It is not a gentle ending either, whilst you have the warm safe places to float in, the band still drop the odd texturally dynamic note to unsettle the listener towards the end of the song as well as the white noise ending.

This album is a strange one for me; musically it is a great record, the songs are well played and overall it is a very relaxing album.  However, it doesn't excite me as much as some other records I have heard this year.  It doesn't excite me as much as other records by this band either, but it does hint at an evolution to their sound.  Now that excites me a lot for the future of this band, they are moving in a different direction than some of their other post rock brethren.  It is an incredibly relaxing record and it will be perfect for those days when you want to drift into yourself.  It might not be hitting my musical needs perfectly, but I can see the positives in the album itself. A well played record, which I have no doubt that I will fall in love with in years to come.

7.5 out of ten - This is good and well worth a check

Top track - Invitation

You can purchase the album from Amazon here

There is no official This Will Destroy You website, so here is a link to their Facebook page

You can listen to the album on Spotify here

Here is a link for our Deezer users

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