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How Strange, Innocence

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Album Review

How Strange, Innocence was recorded a year before Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever, the eventual breakthrough for Austin's Explosions in the Sky. But this 2005 Temporary Residence release is the first many will hear of it, since the original pressing was only a few hundred CD-Rs. It's an interesting listen for fans of the group, as it incorporates the layered guitar melodies and deliberate volume shifts of later EITS work but unfolds with a brittle uncertainty that reveals the band's brief lifespan at the time. Sometimes it sounds like a recital, as if Chris Hrasky, Michael James, Munaf Rayani, and Mark T. Smith, having learned their parts painstakingly and over time, were debuting the songs for an audience of proud parents. In "A Song for Our Fathers," brittle electric guitar notes find the melody over brushed snare and a stoic bassline until the song locks into a louder but still lingering groove, like a sleepwalking Pixies, while "Time Stops" builds from a gentle stroll to a storm of crash cymbals, shadowing vintage Bedhead in the din. The songs here are long — nothing's under five minutes — and Explosions in the Sky overuse some of the same effects that give their material strength. "Magic Hours," for example, is only a preamble to "Time Stops," glimmering, then building, then exploding at the usual pace. But despite some predictability, How Strange, Innocence shows remarkable tact for a band that was so unseasoned during its recording. As the ambitious "Snow and Lights" proves, they were already hashing out the pacing issues, heroic scope, and striking melodic sense that would define later releases.

Customer Reviews

how strange, innocence

this is just as good as their later stuff. i almost like it better. song for our fathers = good stuff.


The song "Remember me as a time of day" is beautiful, I recomend it along with most songs in all four of thier albums.

A Ride Through Your Emotions

Explosions in the Sky can, have, and always will amaze me. On this album, you really get to hear their more indie-influenced side. The songs flow into a tight and cohesive album ready to unwind throughout the listening experience. The best part of any EITS release is how each one conjures these pleasurable, almost nostalgic emotional trips. Even more so on their debut here, in my opinion, as each song reminds me of times alone in an open space with pleasant breezes and richly dark clouds hiding the sun. A real meditation experience, even more so than those meditation tapes I have! This album is just as good as EITS's other masterpieces, and is right up there with my other favorite by them, but you can probably guess which one that is: The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place. If you're into indie or GOOD emo, or maybe just downright emotional experience, this is definitely still for me (and maybe you!).


Formed: 1999 in Austin, TX

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

With a reputation for scathingly intense live performances, Explosions in the Sky were touted early on in their career as the next phenomenon in moody and dynamic instrumental indie rock à la Mogwai and Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Eventually they became one of the genre's most commercially successful bands, scoring several motion pictures and being featured in countless other films, television series, and video games. The quartet of Texas kids, made up of Mark Smith and Munaf Rayani on guitars,...
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