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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

Worth. Your. Time.

"How Strange, Innocence" is the first album by this band, and they said they have a love/hate relationship with it. Yes, there are flaws, and it might sound out of tune in some places, and the recording quality might not be the very best... but this album is raw emotion for these guys. Though, the titles of the songs (at least for ME) don't fit quite as well as they do on other Explosions albums. None the less, just sitting back and taking this album in is a very unique experience. These songs are not meant to just be enjoyed, they are also meant to be emotionally tied with something. Whatever that may be... hey, it's your pick.

So I'd like to thank this band for re-releasing this album, (fat chance they'll ever read this) because it's an admirable work of art.

how strange, innocence

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

BUY THIS

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

Biography

Formed: 1999 in Austin, TX

Genre: Alternative

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

With a reputation for a scathingly intense live performance and a quickly sold-out CD-R demo, How Strange, Innocence, which was later reissued in 2005, Explosions in the Sky was 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! The quartet of Texas kids, made up of Mark Smith and Munaf Rayani on guitars, Michael James on bass, and Christopher Hrasky on drums, was signed for its first release on Temporary...
Full Bio