Explosions in the Sky – take care, take care, take care

Rapidly shaping up as one of the premier instrumental rock bands of the past decade, Explosions in the Sky brings symphonic breath to modern guitar-influenced electronica. The burgeoning group’s new take care, take care, take care represents another creative step forward.

Recorded on a pecan ranch in Tornillo, Texas and mastered to three sides of vinyl by Greg Calbi in New York, this 2LP pressing epitomizes what needs to be done to get the under-50 crowd interested in hi-fi. Live, the band presents a dense wall of sound with incredible dynamic range, going from quiet interludes to metal massacres at the drop of a hat. Past CDs took some of that magic away on record. That’s not the case here.

Presenting the quieter, gentler side of Explosions in the Sky, the record’s opening “Last Known Surroundings” ethereally begins with a highly distorted wailing guitar located far behind a front line of guitars. It takes on a texture that feels like equal parts The Edge, a handful of power chords, and early Radiohead crossed with Neu!. The track starts and ends slow, with the band’s trademark use of multiple crescendos incorporated in the arrangement. Only “Trembling Hands” and “Let Me Back In” ever hint at making a ruckus, and yet, they remain subdued.

Temporary Residence’s LPs present the power and delicacy that the performance deserves. Seven tracks are spread amongst three sides, so there are dynamics to spare; the vinyl is miles better than the CD and nearly as quiet. Framed with type that you might see in a Rene Magritte painting, packaging is also stellar. The deluxe edition is exquisitely boxed as a four-part foldout complete with poster and free download of the album in the 320kb MP3 format. Audiophiles that happen to be Explosions in the Sky fans, rejoice. Your ship has come in. —Jeff Dorgay

Temporary Residence, 2LP