• Mark Fraser

Explosions in the Sky @ Manning Bar, University of Sydney - 15.02.08

If I could arrange for there to be a soundtrack to my life, Explosions In The Sky would play at every important moment.

Musically, this is one of the most accomplished acts playing today and their compositions surge with such energy and beauty as to be quite unlike anything else you've ever heard...

The instrumental four-piece from Austin, Texas are often referred to as a "post-rock" band.

This is a label that the band themselves prefer to avoid, stating that they simply consider themselves to be a rock band.

The sold-out show at the Manning Bar on Friday night was spectacular. With opening act Ohana and special guest Eluvium playing great, crowd was pumped when Explosions took the stage around 10.45 to a huge roar of anticipation.

We were then taken on a musical journey that lasted almost an hour and a half, surging and coursing its way through their two most recent studio albums The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place (2003) and All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone (2007).

This show was seamless, the band flowing literally from one piece to the next, the music never ending.

This is performance in the tradition of the works of the great classical composers where individual pieces combine to form movements and movements are assembled into greater works.

The analogy is apt as Explosions is a band of composers. The attention to detail and craft in the structure, timing, pacing and performance of the music is breathtakingly astounding.

The result is rich, luscious and full music that will build on the simplest of guitar licks and rhythms before exploding into a wall of noise that shocks, confronts and bewilders the listener before revealing a deeper texture of layers and complexity that rewards even the casual listener.

This is music that transcends boundaries and defies explanation.

The simple result is that everyone who considers themselves a fan of music should own at least one Explosions In The Sky record.

I'm betting that once you've heard one, you'll want to own them all. And if you ever get the chance, see Explosions In The Sky live, you will not regret it.

Daniel Wright  - redbackrock.com

Pics: Claire Martin 

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