Explosions in the Sky: The Wilderness Review

By Ashley Galvan
Music Journalist

Explosions in the Sky perform at End of an Ear. Photo by Ashley Galvan.
Explosions in the Sky perform at End of an Ear. Photo by Ashley Galvan.

Band: Explosions In The Sky
Album: The Wilderness
Release Date: Friday April 1, 2016

Have you ever listened to a band that can ignite every sense you have? The sensations that make you feel human is the ability to feel, see and hear things outside of yourself. If you can’t relate yet there is no need to fret because after listening to the band Explosions in the Sky, you will understand the sensation music can ignite within you.

Explosions In the Sky is a local Austin quartet who collaborate as a “leaderless” band, writing only instrumental material they envision and evolve as a whole. The band have several full length albums that has gotten their name out and around the world. Their most recent album, The Wilderness, was released this last Friday, April 1, 2016. The new album is an unfathomable accomplishment, considering after almost two decades, they haven’t abandoned what makes them unique.

The day Explosions in the Sky released The Wilderness, Dan Plunkett, co-owner of Austin record store End of an Ear, hosted an exclusive event. The event was held in his store with Explosions in the Sky playing songs from their new album. The only way any true Explosions in the Sky fan could get to see them live again would be by pre-ordering their new album in the store the week of their album release.

The moment I was told by my friend about this exclusive event, I immediately drove to End of an Ear to place my order. The gentlemen at the counter told me that the vinyl was only going to be sold in Texas and that the one wax would be red and the other blue. I was instantly sold on the Texas vinyl. With only 33 tickets out of 130, I also was given the opportunity to receive one of those tickets to see Explosions in the Sky perform in store.

At 8 p.m. at End of an Ear, Explosions in the Sky played inside the record store with no more than 60 people in the room. Although their capacity was 130, I can easily say the performance was as intimate as they get. Before they started, guitarist Michael James made an announcement to the crowd thanking everyone for coming while also informing us that it was their first in store performance they’ve played in 16 years. He proceeded to say that they would be playing five new songs from their new record and appreciated us for sharing the experience with them.

Explosions in the Sky opened their five-piece set with their first song “Wilderness” on their new album. With dozens of foot pedals on the floor and an intimate crowd surrounded by thousands of vinyl records, the song truly transcends into the souls of the audience. The combination of the environment, the signature melodic guitar riffs and the depth that Chris Hrasky creates on the drums made my spine tingle. Songs like “Tangle Formations” and “Disintegration Anxiety” brought the crowd closer together as the band created impeccable electronic textures while unleashing the torrents of the percussion.

The show was a complete success and so was their new release, The Wilderness. The band will be continuing to tour for the next six months all around the world, so if you haven’t seen them yet, they will be around and back again.

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