Explosions in the Sky
All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone

Temporary Residence
2007
C
Reviewed by: Mike Powell
Reviewed on: 2007-02-12



Posted 02/12/2007 - 09:49:52 AM by smwynne:
 I think something got messed up on the site when this was posted. I see 6 paragraphs of mostly irrelevant information, and only 1 sentence about the music on this record. The actual review of this album somehow didn't get posted.
 
Posted 02/12/2007 - 09:57:28 AM by jhitting:
 Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die... was another disappointing record by these guys. I understand their asthetic, but that doesn't make it very interesting.
 
Posted 02/12/2007 - 11:00:42 AM by krushdbonez:
 "EITS are about as post-rock as the Enlightenment or unregulated whaling." I think the problem is that Mike Powell doesn't know that this is an album, a music album that has music on it. Maybe he tried to use it as a can opener and now he's pissed off at it.
 
Posted 02/12/2007 - 12:18:16 PM by flufarm:
 What is this, Pitchfork? I am a fan of this band, so not impartial, but this review is objectively poor. No insight. The fact that something is or isn't innovative or surprising is NOT the SOLE criterion on which to judge art. Why so many words wasted on the Friday Night LIghts show and whether to classify the band as "post-rock." This album doesn't come out for another week--maybe Mike should listen more and try for a better review on the release date--or better yet, have someone else review it.
 
Posted 02/12/2007 - 12:29:18 PM by boilingboy:
 Strident But True: With noted exceptions, most music critics are journalism grads who don't understand anything without lyrics to hang on to. Mogwai and GodspeedYBE recieve the good reviews as the token vocal-less bands used to disquise this bias. Amazing how they see even bad vocals/lyrics to be better than none at all (Jet, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, et all). Instrumental rock is appealing because there is no narcessistic and/or gratingly tuneless frontman to distract from immersion in it. Like Prog, "post-rock" has its excesses and embarrassments; but the substantial work endures even though music critics keep trying to kill it.
 
Posted 02/12/2007 - 03:22:53 PM by prohibitedart:
 I'm going to agree with you on the review for the most part... I've liked the band a lot at times, but their act is getting old. I know we all complain when well-revered artists experiment with new things, but I think Explosions in the Sky cry really out for it. I urge them to try something new! haha I've been listening to Tortoise lately, and to my ears, they are a perfect reason as to why Explosions in the Sky are completely unnecessary in the post-rock music world. Are they the same band? Well, no, but certainly a heavy influence. This has all been done before. Explosions in the Sky are talented... definitely. But this has all been done before.
 
Posted 02/12/2007 - 03:42:14 PM by Vykromond:
 Apparently you don't like the Friday Night Lights soundtrack. I heard Explosions in the Sky have a new album out, called 'All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone' or something... are you going to write the review on that one soon?
 
Posted 02/12/2007 - 03:53:29 PM by grandbanks:
 Mr. Powell certainly doesn't need my backing, but I think a lack of insight is being displayed by the readers here, not the author. I think his review pretty much sums up the historical context of this album and what the listener should expect. There have been a rash of responses to people not getting what they want out of what, to me, have been some very good reviews lately. Seems people are getting lazier and really just want a track by track analysis of a record's relationship to the bands previous output, but of course that is just my opinion. More interestingly to me, though, is the statement "Instrumental rock is appealing because there is no narcessistic and/or gratingly tuneless frontman to distract from immersion in it." Instrumental music can be just as narcissistic as vocal music, and to me EITS are a perfect example and Powell's assertion that this music might benefit from a visual accompaniment is telling (and I agree). The suggested immersive powers are not being generated in my mind either. There is no shortage of instrumental music getting a ton of great press, by the way, and no shortage of vocalist getting slagged. I really wish people would stop reading what they want to into these reviews and making totally overblown generalizations. Again, it is you, the readers, who often need to try harder (and read the reviews several times more as you would wish the reviewer to listen to the album more).
 
Posted 02/12/2007 - 07:27:47 PM by IanMathers:
 People, it's a C. Not an F.
 
Posted 02/12/2007 - 08:41:25 PM by superliminal:
 I think you havea point, Mike Powell. Post-rock IS (if the term is to retain any meaning) reinterpeting the rock status quo by incorporating "jazz, 20th century avant-garde, and electronic influences." So many conservative perspectives of rock ironically exclude bands that use these influences because they don't fit the strict rules of what makes up rock. Post-rock is progression such stagnant interpretations. But for a seminal "post-rock" band like EITS to continually produce cookie-cutter song formulas, it in doing so becomes stagnant itself. Their verison of "post-rock" has become stagnant and is now just rock.
 
Posted 02/12/2007 - 08:42:29 PM by superliminal:
 Did I mention they're stagnant?
 
Posted 02/12/2007 - 11:05:41 PM by Utica5:
 take this quote from superliminal: "For a seminal 'post-rock' band like EITS to continually produce cookie-cutter song formulas, it in doing so becomes stagnant itself." explosions in the sky haven't released that much music over the years, so i feel comfortable guaranteeing that you wouldn't be able to find two EITS songs that are structurally identical. so i suppose when you say "cookie cutter song formulas", you're referring to the "quiet/loud" thing. but dynamics are a necessary element of composed music, and one or two bands that focus on crescendos are no more "quiet/loud" obsessed than any of the millions of bands that live off of loud chorses. music critics are stupid, and the only thing they ever could think to say about post-rock was, "it's, like, slow and it builds." but i understand. it's hard to think of things to validate or belittle when you don't even have a lead singer's ego to judge.
 
Posted 02/13/2007 - 01:46:44 AM by boilingboy:
 Perhaps certain commenters defending the reviews (how many times have I heard "_____ certainly doesn't need me to defend him, but...") should listen more closely to what others are actually saying. It was acknowledged above that instrumental rock has it's fair share of bores and mistakes. Plus, it was stated right up front that there was going to be a generalization. The point being made was that there is a built in bias against instrumental rock because the reviewers are largely incapable of relating to modern music without vocals. Who cares that other traditional rock combos are also being slagged....they are not being criticized as a GENRE. Recently, I attended the Brainwaves Festival in the Boston area. It was some of the most uplifting, emotionally affecting music I ever had the pleasure to experience live. The artists were appreciative and modest, to a fault. 90% of it was instrumental. When the "image" is taken out of it, music becomes more humble, and usually requires more from the listener. The people I've met who make instrumental rock are, for the most part, some of the most refreshingly ego-less musicians I've ever met. Is that a reason to like the music? No, but it's certainly a reason to stick around and give the benefit of the doubt. It's not important whether the new EITS record was given a positive review or not. Post-rock bands certainly do repeat themselves album to album. This reviewer neither understands nor appreciates the group as a whole....THAT"S the problem. Every genre in the vast world of modern rock and roll has worthy practitioners. For more info, I would recommend reading The Wire...an often pretentious magazine, with as passion for exploratory instrumental music.
 
Posted 02/13/2007 - 06:46:46 AM by Marcopolo:
 The comments section will soon be closed...again...
 
Posted 02/13/2007 - 03:27:45 PM by grandbanks:
 Boilingboy, obviously you have an agenda, which is fine. The generalisations concerning music writers and their treatment of "post-rock" as a genre are obviously important to you, and I tried to address them and you didn't really respond, you just re-iterated your opinion. That's fine, believe me I am not trying to argue here, I just thought that Mike's opinions were being misinterpreted. On top of this, not that this really means anything, I have probably read more copies of the Wire than anyone visiting this site (with a few exceptions, and believe me, not bragging at all. The Wire is a slog and much of the music covered therein is not for rational music fans). I can fairly safely say that The Wire would give this EITS album a much harsher judgment than Mr. Powell did, though perhaps just a lukewarm one (if they review/ed it at all). It is a reviewer by reviewer basis, of course, and you can no doubt find positive reviews of this record if you want them. You are participating in conjecture of the highest order, for the most part. What Mr. Powell is saying is that this album is not meeting the level of "passion for exploratory instrumental music" that some of us might be hoping for. If you found it, great. Share your thoughts, but calling music critics stupid is pretty lame (that's for you, Utica5). Mr. Powell isn't stupid and I imagine has just as much of an ability to wrap his head around instrumental music as you do. Tell the readers here why you like this record more than the reviewer and get on with it. I don't see a genre getting slagged in this review, I see a particular band's place within a genre getting evaluated and a question being posed as to whether that genre is really applicable to much of the music lumped into it. Good questions, good review, especially considering the idea of post-rock as a valid name for anything at this point. You are playing into all of the negative connotations, not the reviewer.
 
Posted 02/13/2007 - 04:41:30 PM by boilingboy:
 Grandbanks, thank you for responding in a mature way and not making this a personal issue. Firstly, as to the review in question, I never called M.P. stupid, or alluded to such. His reviews are better than seral other writers here on Stylus. I implied that he was biased against music without vocals. You, yourself, have problems with imstrumental rock it seems. I'm sorry that you are unable to relate to "the immersive qualities" of it. Secondly, I never once took issue with the quality of the album; in fact, I stated pointedly that it was irrelevant. Thirdly, I'm concerned that you view The Wiere as "not for rational music fans". I understand about 1 quarter of what I read in that mag, to be sure; but I learn soo much everytime I read it. Rock is about exploration and constant change...the reason it has lasted 60 years. You may not like it, but you sure need to respect it. How you missed these explicit points, after two separate clarifications, is beyond me. Ironically, you seem to be the one who consistently is not listening. Knowing about something, and being able to appreciate it beyond token lip service, are two separate things. By the way, The Wire has a monthly section just for instrumental rock, and they do like EITS.
 
Posted 02/13/2007 - 04:45:57 PM by boilingboy:
 By the way, grandbanks, I really don't want to get into another protracted discussion with you about the writer vs. the article, or the relevence of underground vs. overground. I believe we covered that all about a year ago, and it's all on file on here.
 
Posted 02/13/2007 - 05:54:40 PM by grandbanks:
 Well, I agree, no more protraction. Just gonna say I listen to about 60% instrumental vs. vocal music. I play instrumental music, I like it a lot. I like the Wire a lot, faults and all. I didn't miss anything, just thought you were off-base and still do. It's Ok, and I am not going to stop posting my thoughts when I think people are being antagonistic or short-sighted. If you don't agree with me that's OK too, but I make my comments based on what comes up when it comes up. The file is always open, so to speak. Here are some things you might like (honestly). The first Cerberus Shoal full-length is called "A Farewell to High Tide" (or something very close). There are a few vocals, but mostly it is instrumental and the two long most typically post-rockish songs are really great and totally immersive. Came out in 95 or 96 but has been re-issued so it is probably still available. Not like their recent stuff at all, very much in line with EITS and Mogwai et al. Also, the Boston band Devil Music Ensemble has a bunch of great "post-rocky" records. Look up Massive Distribution if you can and catch them live, all instrumental and really great. Enjoy.
 
Posted 02/13/2007 - 06:10:20 PM by boilingboy:
 Fair enough. Thanks for the recommendations. I'm always excited to hear of something new and listenable, when it comes from someone with a healthy music collection. I know Cerberus Shoal, but not that album. I'm interested in hearing the Devil Music Ensemble. I've not heard of them, and I live in Boston; so I'll definitely check them out.
 
Posted 02/13/2007 - 10:32:57 PM by mikepowell:
 wow--dunno if i'm too late to catch anyone here (i've been moving). anyway, boilingboy--i really have no problem with any kind of instrumental music, rock or otherwise. and i definitely think you're misleading yourself when you suggest that instrumental rock is inherently less narcissistic because there's no singer--how is that relevant? i mean, i find EITS just as overblown as, say, the arcade fire--it's a function of the tenor of their music, the cadences, the sound palate. nothing to do with the singer or the lyrics. i guess there's a sense in which i didn't 'attend' to this record as much as some might've liked, but that was part of my point: this band is functional. they feel standard. i don't find their music that engaging. i like them on friday night lights, or as accompaniment to some sorta televisual drama. it makes sense. i feel the same way about plenty of vocal music, too. and the whole post-rock thing--i guess i got really sick of feeling like this band (and mogwai and g!ybe) were being praised with the same set of adjectives as bands like tortoise or gastr del sol, who they have absolutely nothing to do with. EITS are like beethoven or something: it's tuneful, traditionally "dramatic," and ultimately, conservative music. which is fine. and remember, a C is just average! i just think there are better records to listen to, that's all. (also, Marcopolo, i've gotta say that i'm actually really excited that people are finally using this section to TALK ABOUT MUSIC rather than just fling poop everywhere. comments are definitely staying around for a while.)
 
Posted 02/14/2007 - 08:04:27 AM by boilingboy:
 How is it relevant? Well, I believe you answered your own question. Post rock is readly criticized for not being innovative enough; a standard that the vast majority of pop/rock gets a pass on. So...instumental rock is held to a higher standard to justify it's lack of a vocalist? There the rub. EITS has an emotional content that your name-checked Tortoise and Gastr Del Sol lacked in their clinical approach. Bands like Mono and Pelican have the same appeal to their devotees. To write off the whole band shows that you don't get this about them, regardless of how the new album sounds. I'm sure it's rather unsettling to a critic to be questioned on his/her inherent biases. At the very least, I'm glad that this subject is being discussed.
 
Posted 02/14/2007 - 10:15:53 AM by mikepowell:
 oh, i definitely see their emotional appeal/how they "work," and i tried to discuss it in the best way i knew how. then again, miracle on 34th street has emotional content. so does dumbo and so does that new will smith movie. it's about balance and grace in the presentation. the 'post-rock' thing is incidental. also, remember that post-rock is NOT just instrumental rock, which i feel like you're presuming. yeah, post-rock--tortose, gastr--is a bit clinical. anyway, i think the fundamental think we're not gonna get over is that EITS moves you and they don't really move me; i like them in certain situations but i don't want to play the record all the time.
 
Posted 02/15/2007 - 01:25:01 PM by draglikepull:
 I've always asserted that EITS have never been a post-rock band, just an instrumental rock band. I'm not really sure how relevant that is in the long run, except as a way to describe them to people who aren't familiar with them. As for the record, I think it's better than their last but not as good as "Those Who Tell The Truth". It's got some excellent moments (the part that starts around the 5 minute mark of the opening track is just gorgeous) but like all of their records it also really drags in places. I wouldn't put them on the same level as some of my favourite contemporary instrumental rock bands like the Red Sparowes, but I also think this album is better than a C.
 
Posted 02/19/2007 - 05:34:06 AM by nedbeauman:
 I don't think you should agree to review an album if you know that you're not going to like it before you've even heard it.