Explosions In The Sky - "Trembling Hands" (Take Care, Take Care, Take Care)
To a degree, you have to hand it to Explosions in the Sky for sticking to its guns. The Texans haven’t shifted their orientation substantially, like This Will Destroy You, or softened to a feeble murmur of their former menace, like Mono. On the inauspiciously titled Take Care, Take Care, Take Care, the band’s sixth album, it’s focused inward and enriched its traditional dynamic ebb and flow with some artful embroidery — the frayed almost-voices pulsing in “Trembling Hands,” the lively percussive doubling in “Last Known Surroundings,” the woozy e-bowing in “Be Comfortable, Creature” — and chased the devil into the details.
To another degree, the details probably aren’t where we want this band’s devils. The nuances on display here, for all their isolated appeal, don’t add up to much in the absence of the thunder we got in Those Who Tell The Truth Will Die, the stirring trajectories of The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place. Rather, they seem meant to fill in for narrative backbone, for a logic by which each eight-minute song moves between idyllic shimmer and ominous rumble. (More evidence of over-ornamentation: the album’s packaging includes “a 10-panel quadruple gatefold cardboard jacket, with an enormous 18-panel full-color double-sided poster, and a full-color double-sided postcard […] inside of a full-color double-sided slipcase.”)
Sure, there is a logic somewhere; sure, maybe it’s not about the destination but the scenery along the way. It just doesn’t feel like a net improvement on what came before, and eventually you start to wonder what the guns are for after all.