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Explosions In The Sky

Post Rock/Math rock

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Explosions In The Sky Travels in Constants (Vol. 21): The Rescue album cover
2.89 | 29 ratings | 12 reviews | 3% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 2005

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Day 1 (4:32)
2. Day 2 (3:47)
3. Day 3 (4:35)
4. Day 4 (3:00)
5. Day 5 (4:36)
6. Day 6 (5:18)
7. Day 7 (4:23)
8. Day 8 (2:36)

Total Time: 32:50

Line-up / Musicians

- Mark Smith / guitar
- Munaf Rayani / guitar
- Christopher Hrasky / drums
- Michael James / bass

Releases information

CD Temporary Residence Limited TRR 13 / TIC21 (US) (2005)

Part of the TRL label "Travels In Constants" subscription series (volume 21). Subscriptions are all sold out and this record is not in stores. Sold by the band at shows a couple of years after it's release.

Thanks to easy livin for the addition
and to The Bearded Bard for the last updates
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EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY Travels in Constants (Vol. 21): The Rescue ratings distribution

(29 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(3%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(24%)
Good, but non-essential (62%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY Travels in Constants (Vol. 21): The Rescue reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Going off quietly

"The rescue" was originally released as part of TRL label "Travels In Constants" subscription series, which has now sold out. Although it has never been made available on general release, "The rescue" can still be obtained at gigs by the band.

This is an 8 track mini-album recorded and released in 2005, and lasting around 33 minutes. The tracks were recorded at the rate of one per day resulting in the titles of "Day 1", "Day2", etc. Unlike their official releases, the songs here are largely the results of improvisations, with little or no composition being undertaken beforehand.

The results are actually not particularly different to their albums. Here the tracks are shorter, with less development, while being generally softer. The ambient nature of Explosions in the Sky's music comes to the fore to a greater extent, with plinky, repetitive sounds very much in evidence.

One of the major surprises of the EP is the use of vocalising on "Day 2". This makes for a very pleasant change from the rather monotone sound the band tend to rely upon. As a whole, there's certainly less of the heavy riffing so evident on "The earth is not.." and other releases. The emphasis here is on repeating ambient melodies, sometimes veering towards the new age end of the spectrum.

Some tracks work better than others. "Day 3" is just a little too laid back, while "Day 6" has more in the way of the crescendos which the band love so much.

The twin guitars of the band work well together throughout the album, but for me the drumming is at times just a little too enthusiastic and clichéd. In all, this is really one for the fans only, but if you do enjoy the music of the band make sure you pick this up next time you are at a gig by them.

Review by clarke2001
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars After "The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place", which was my introduction to this band, I was almost afraid to give "The Rescue" a listen. Why? Because aforementioned album was so horrible, dull and boring. I was quite amused by a level of...nothingness represented there. Immature ideas and songs, but not a single good thing the youth can provide. Compared to that album (which is one of the worst albums I've ever heard, I must say), "The Rescue" EP sounds almost like a masterpiece. So, this guys actually CAN came up with something more substantial... Maybe they progressed in a two years time. The difference is so huge I was thinking of another group of people under the same name...because the only mutual thing is "post rock".

Indeed, this albums is a typical post-rock template, not groundbreaking at all, and being not so terribly good neither. But it contains pleasant moments, and some smart, wisely chosen sounds. Especially if we consider the fact this one is a pure improvisation, the final result is okay. All the songs are labeled "Day One" "Day Eight" and they are improvisations in their home studio. There are some dull and boring moments, it happened more than once that music passes by me without noticing...well the tracks are quite similar. At least it's not hermetic and all the songs are not written in the same key.

It's hard to give impressions for separate tracks...and it's also beside the point. This EP is well focused. The piano is providing a nice touch to the songs, guitars are really, really under control of doing something unpredictable; there are some overdubbed vocals/speech sections which helps a certain track a lot. My complaint goest to a final mix, my taste demands a different ratio of recording levels for each of the instruments. But since they were doing the recording themselves, it's not bad. My another complaint goes on the drums, they're just dull at the moments; I always felt post-rock sensibility needs a skillful jazz drummer with the brushes rather than a standard chack-poom, no matter how slow it might be.

But in a overall picture, I stated more complaints about the EP than good things, it's simply because my complaints can be pigeon-holed, while the good part needs to be experienced. At least there are some good parts here.

This is a huge improvement. Two and a half stars.

Review by ClemofNazareth
3 stars The concepts aren’t developed all that much and the overall tone is more reserved than on the band’s previous studio releases, but ‘The Rescue’ is a pretty good representation of Explosions in the Sky for those who may not be familiar with their work.

The best thing about this EP of course is that it can be downloaded free from the band’s website, or at least it could be as of this writing. The record has also been released as Volume #21 in the TRL Travels in Constants series of recordings by a wide variety of post-rock, experimental and indie bands. Explosions, along with Mogwai and Low are probably the most well-known of the bands in the ‘Constants’ series so far, but if you have a chance to check these mail-order-only discs out you should – there are some very innovative and largely unknown artists represented on them.

Anyway, I guess this record was supposed to have been created as a tribute or reminiscence or something of an eight-day downtime the band had while touring a while back when their van broke down and took that long to be repaired. If you listen carefully to some of the spoken-word bits sprinkled around a few of the tracks you can hear them talking about this incident, and about being left stranded, bored and broke after it happened.

From an artistic standpoint the interesting points of the record include the fact the band says they didn’t write any of it in advance; instead, they improvised a track each day for eight days and then spent a week or so mixing it. As a result the tracks seem to be a slight bit disjointed at times, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. They also experimented with some new instrumentation, and although their website download doesn’t include credits you can hear lots of piano, what appear to be a little bit of programmed digital sound (but don’t quote me on that), and a few other unidentified percussive sounds. But this is Explosions, and the emphasis is always on the guitars, so fans of the band shouldn’t be put off by the foray into new instruments since they don’t do much to alter the band’s overall sound.

There’s not much that’s new here, and the tracks are considerably shorter than what the band typically puts out. But the concept is fresh, the guitar work very disciplined, and the overall package is worth a half-hour of your time. Three stars easily, and recommended to pretty much any prog fan.


Review by aapatsos
3 stars Pleasant music for a relaxed evening

That was the thought that occurred in my mind while listening to The Rescue. By no means is this a boring ''soft'' album, but it is very relaxed as far as prog is concerned. While I am not a great fan of the post/math rock genre, this EP is definitely worth a few spins. Bearing in mind that it is available for free download from the band's website, it makes the effort more attractive.

One can easily recognise the ''improvisation'' approach taken in this release. The tracks are solely instrumental and there is no specific structure whatsoever; there is always a basic idea, a basic melody on which the track evolves afterwards. The melodies are very pleasant but nothing sounds ground-breaking in this release. It brings to mind works from bands like The Smashing Pumpkins (especially Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness), Muse and most of all Sigur Ros. Slightly distorted and acoustic guitars, pianos and modest mid-tempo percussion constitute the sound of this EP. With the exception of Day 3 (indifferent to my ears), the rest of the tracks sound charming and flow well without any signs of complexity.

Overall, a decent release that definitely does not bring a revolution to the genre but is worth giving it a try. Particularly recommended for friends of Sigur Ros and related bands, this might be a good companion for a cold winter evening...

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Nice album of shorter EitS songs!

Well, not quite an album, but an EP released in 2005 that this talented and well-recognized American post-rock band offers, and that can also be free to download via their website, so once again, take advantage of this facility and download it, if you like it or not, is your decision.

The thing here is that this EP saw the light after their probably most successful album (The Earth is?) which some people consider one of those masterpieces of post rock. So don't compare, don't pre-judge, the music here follows the same line as their previous albums, the "problem" might be that here you'll find shorter tracks, less elaborated. Featuring eight songs and a total time of 33 minutes, "The Rescue" is an album divided in eight days, I don't really know the story behind them, but I could think that they composed one song per day.

So "Day 1" starts softly with that gentle and emotional guitar sound that a band like Explosions in the Sky offers in all their albums. "Day 2" is even gentler, in moments I imagine the music can be used for telling a story or even a fairytale. One thing sure, is that you can close your eyes and relax, and maybe create some images in your mind. Another thing here is that you'll find some voices creating a special atmosphere, this is worth mentioning because the band don't really use to put voices in their music.

"Day 3" features spoken words and a guitar that in moments reminds me of Sigur Ros. There is a soft but nice atmosphere, though after a couple of minutes you might get bored. "Day 4" is more interesting, since the beginning you can notice a change in the rhythm, the drums appear louder and those emotional guitars return, the music is charming and cool, easy to enjoy.

"Day 5" has fast percussion but slow guitars that together create a cool mixture. The track gradually progresses with the help of new elements, once again, you can relax and receive this charming music. "Day 6" is the only piece that reaches five minutes, and I dare say it is the proggiest of them all. It also has a nice selection of elements that make the song richer of sounds, also there are some nice changes in both, the direction and the feelings.

"Day 7" is not their best, I would actually say that this is simply a "more-of-the-same" track, despite it has a nice acoustic guitar and a Christmas-like sound, I feel it is just another song and that's it. And finally "Day 8", the shortest of the EP, just a nice way to end this mellow album.

You can have a good time, relax and enjoy half an hour of soft post-rock, not bad at all, but obviously not the best example of EitS music. My final grade will be three stars.

Enjoy it!

Review by Neu!mann
3 stars Number 21 in a series of 23 mini-albums commissioned by the TRL record label works almost like a biographical sketch: a week in the life of Explosions in the Sky. The Austin post-rockers, normally very deliberate in their songwriting, challenged themselves for this project, approaching it with no planning, no premeditation, no rehearsals, and the goal of recording one complete track each day for eight days, with a further six reserved for mixing.

It must have been an intense experience, but you wouldn't know it from the unaffected ease of the finished product. Supposedly there's a concept of sorts behind the music, recalling a nervous week after the band's tour van broke down in western New York, stranding the quartet in a stranger's attic, where they "read books and watched blizzards and ate Chinese food and went sort of nuts" (quoting their own account). Not exactly epic subject matter, but it was never meant as an epic album.

In another setting any one of these tracks might have been the ground floor to a much larger structure. Here each day's output was designed to be self-sufficient, and that conceptual simplicity extends to the music itself: miniatures of understated mood and emotion, all of them refreshingly short and sweet (only one cracks the five-minute ceiling). Working on a smaller canvas may have yielded smaller results, but good things often hide in undersized gift wrap, and by not allowing themselves any time to develop and polish each piece of music the band attained a level of spontaneity seldom heard in their more ambitious recordings. No time is wasted on superfluous gestures: once an idea is played out, the song stops.

Don't bother listening for any narrative or thematic continuity. Each piece is a stand-alone unit, collectively flowing together very well. The wordless voices on "Day Two" and elsewhere add a celestial halo to the usual twin-guitar textures. And the gentle, Fripp-like sustains of "Day Three" provide a magical counterpoint to the mundane audio-vérité discussion of the cost to repair a busted transmission: the earthbound dialogue intersecting sharply with the soaring harmonics.

There was always an element of cinematic drama to the music of Explosions in the Sky. And this modest album, brief as it is, could have been a warm-up to the band's later soundtrack sessions. The album is no longer offered as a freebie on their website, but by all means stop by the merchandise table at your next EitS concert and pick up a copy. Support a worthy cause, and reward yourself with some worthwhile music.

Latest members reviews

2 stars 'The Rescue', while containing nice melodies and upbeat atmospheres comes across almost entirely as filler material by the otherwise good band Explosions in the Sky. You can download this EP for free of the band's website, and that's probably a good thing, since because of the 'sameness' of th ... (read more)

Report this review (#219040) | Posted by topofsm | Sunday, May 31, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars 3.5 stars really! I'm a big fan of EITS, and this may not be their best album, but it is still kool in my books. Probably the best thing about this EP is that you can download it for free from the band's official website. So, if you are curious about EITS and you don't want to spend any mone ... (read more)

Report this review (#173865) | Posted by digdug | Friday, June 13, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Eight songs representing eight days in the characteristic style of EitS. Almost minimal compositions with emphasys on guitar sections, slowly rhythmical sections and some little and nice surprises are some of the special features of this EP. It's a good album. Sounds floating and prettey athmos ... (read more)

Report this review (#143219) | Posted by progadicto | Tuesday, October 9, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I first heard this EP when one my indie-head friends came over told me he found this amazingly beautiful experimental band and immediatelly downloaded the rescue (along with several single tracks) from the EITS website onto my computer. He was wrong about the experimentality but right about the ... (read more)

Report this review (#130356) | Posted by Proletariat | Thursday, July 26, 2007 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Wondering what Explosions in the Sky sounds like? Wanting to hear what post rock sounds like? Wanting to broaden your prog perspective? Want free music? If the answer to any of the above is yes, then go to this band's website and download this free EP immediately. Although this is a decent first e ... (read more)

Report this review (#129654) | Posted by Shakespeare | Saturday, July 21, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This album can be downloaded in its entirety off of Explosions In The Sky's official website, which was how I acquired it, and also developed a deep love for the band. The music showcased on this EP displays some more experimental qualities of the band, nearly bordering on new-age during some ... (read more)

Report this review (#98683) | Posted by Freak | Monday, November 13, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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