By Nicholas Volpe
Artist: This Will Destroy You
Album: New Others Part One/Two
Release Date: Sep. 28, 2018
This Will Destroy You (TWDY) have been veterans of the instrumental, post-rock music sound that college radio stations have been playing on repeat since the early 2000s. Along with fellow Texas band Explosions in the Sky and other post-rock pioneers such as Godspeed, You Black Emperor and Mogwai, TWDY helped create music that challenged conventional thinking on what music should include: vocals, lyrics, and structure. TWDY was one of the key bands to help push post-rock into international popularity and yet, they still remain relatively unknown in the small college town that helped to create them.
Well-known internationally within the ambient, shoegaze, and post-rock music communities, This Will Destroy You is perhaps the best-known and most successful active band to have started in San Marcos, Texas. Guitarists Jeremy Galindo and Chris King, bassist Raymond Brown and drummer Andrew Miller started TWDY in 2004. At first the band tried to write songs with vocal parts but quickly discovered they were more suited as an instrumental band.
Their first record Young Mountain, was self recorded and released in 2005 and was eventually re-released by label Magic Bullet in 2006. This release saw much more press then the initially release and was very positively reviewed. Their first full-length and self-titled studio album was released in 2008 by Magic Bullet. This album helped push TWDY into international fame and they found themselves touring Europe the same year.
A few lineup changes and many years later, TWDY are still releasing albums. Last year saw the release of an impressive double-album titled New Others Part One/Two. Stepping away from the guitar-focused rock they’ve been known for, this double album has more electronic elements then previous releases.
The first track of the first album, “Melted Jubilee”, starts off on a positive and energetic note. Synthesizers can be heard layering the vast expanse of sound and drums drenched in reverb help to carry the track from start to finish. The next track, “To Win, Somebody’s Got to Lose”, is the exact opposite of the previous one. Piano heavy and much slower, this sudden drop off from fast to slow is exactly what TWDY has become known for.
Clocking in at seven minutes, the longest track on the first album is my personal favorite. “Weeping Window” is a slowcore masterpiece. The heaviness of the guitars is only intensified by the dark pounding of the drums. A droney guitar part soars throughout the entire composition and adds a refreshing feeling of discomfort. And just like that, the next track, “Like This”, is the complete opposite of the track before it. “Like This” shows exactly how much TWDY’s sound has changed over the years. Slow, dream-like and laden with drum machines, this track is ambient music at it’s best.
The psychedelic breakdown that is “Jesse Ray” helps to lighten the mood of an otherwise dark album. While drums remain pounding throughout the entire song, a lighter aesthetic is produced. Music like this can either be heard loud or quiet; no in between. Other songs like “New Promise Land Inc.” help to give the album it’s quiet ambient beauty. This attention to detail is really what sets this album apart from all of their other efforts.
On the one hand, New Others could be a beautiful soundtrack to your favorite movie. On the other hand, it could be the soundtrack to the dark and confusing dreams we all sometimes have. This juxtaposition of feelings is what makes TWDY so compelling. It is exciting to guess what direction they may move into next.