Explosions in The Sky - O2 Academy, Glasgow, Mon 23 Jan 2012
An elemental, foundation-shaking post-rock rollercoaster
Explosions in The Sky’s music has always had very elemental feel to it. As the unforgiving Glasgow winter freezes the breath in every pair of lungs waiting to get into the Academy tonight, the Texans' set, which could soundtrack the bleak, sparse cold with each brittle twinkle of guitar and usher in avalanches with each thundering crescendo, seems like a pretty suitable match.
'Catastrophe and The Cure' foregoes any kind of real introduction before doing its best to shake the life back into the refrigerated limbs huddled together up front. The Academy’s sound system casts a muddy hand into the reflecting pool a couple of minutes in, but things soon smooth out and before long, we’re melting into the opening chimes of ‘Your Hand in Mine’, arguably one of the most popular from EITS’ back catalogue and what that flexes it technical muscle in breathtaking fashion.
A solid mix of ‘classics’ and (relatively) new songs from last year’s Take Care, Take Care, Take Care steadily veers through an intense and varied spectrum of noise and emotion, scaling vast heights and languishing in melancholy lows. ‘The Only Moment We Have Alone’, from 2003’s The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place is a particular highland, exploding and retreating like a post-rock rollercoaster, while newer tracks like ‘Be Comfortable Creature’ and ‘Last Known Surroundings’ hold their own and offer up instrument swaps and additional synth/backing layers.
It all comes to a suitably destructive end with a chilling rendition of ‘The Moon is Down’ that ends in foundation-shaking noise. Temporary deafness ensues, but I’ll be damned if it wasn’t worth it.