Album Review

Take Care, Take Care, Take Care

Take Care, Take Care, Take Care

By Explosions In The Sky

Temporary Residence
7.5 / 10
12th July 2011

By Ricardo Kerr

Post Rock (for those of us who still insist on using that contentious term) is the opera of the rock pantheon. It is a style filled with high drama, emotion, and outlandish, unintelligible narrative. Texas’ Explosions in the Sky are no exception. If anything they have become the flag-bearers for more traditional “post rock” now that many of the previous generation are disbanding (Isis) or exploring new directions (Mogwai). Explosions in the Sky’s trademark sound has always been densely layered guitars (often three at once) and this is true straight from the get go on their sixth album Take Care, Take Care, Take Care.

After an extended drone that can be likened to an orchestra tuning up the famous guitar textures come out to play on ‘Last Known Surroundings’. This song demonstrates the interplay between the many styles of six strings in their toolbox: long drawn siren song, melodic with clean reverb, atmospheric musing, acoustic near classical noodling, and of course white noise crunch. What is obvious immediately is how the tone of this album differs from their peers with more consistency than your standard post rock ebb and flow dynamic. You aren’t constantly climbing mountains only to get thrown off them; it is more akin to the lapping waves of the ocean. The long coda to the song is truly elegant before dwindling into a mantra-like keyboard loop that drifts into the lush intro of ‘Human Qualities’. It is an orchestra of gentle beats that finally breaks loose at the 7 minute mark. Even though the rush doesn’t last long it is certainly worth the build up.

Not everything is so serene. ‘Trembling Hands’ (the shortest song on the album at not even four minutes long) is a percussive powder keg - sounding like Battles doing Bauhaus – that ups the ante in ferocity amongst the calm. For once the calculated guitars take a back seat allowing the blood the really get flowing as well as a bizarre vocal “riff”. Showstopper and album closer ‘Let Me Back In’ starts on a slinky, jazz club vibe like Massive Attack by way of Pink Floyd staring out into an endless arid plain. After the fireworks are over a trail of whispers closes out the disc, returning to the taut, haunted landscape from which they came. The compositions on Take Care Take Care Take Care feel more minimal than many of their instrumental post-rock brethren. The less-is-more approach lets a lot of feeling in between the instruments and Explosions in the Sky make the most of it. The brooding intensity of All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone or earlier albums has been dialled back to create a gorgeously Technicolor cinematic experience for your ears.






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