Some things in life are certainties: death, taxes, and Explosions in the Sky creating post-rock backdrops of chin-stroking introspection. After six albums of similarly patient score-driven bombast, the Texan quartet’s painstaking consistency is a lauded hallmark delivered with business-as-usual predictability. In that respect, ‘The Wilderness’ is reaffirmation of Explosions’ sureness of purpose: a record that breathes and sighs with typically plaintive prettiness. On ‘Tangle Formations’, Chris Hrasky’s pounding work on the drums cuts through single-note piano and lamenting guitar; off another relentless Hrasky’s pummel, ‘Infinite Orbit’ booms into brief, guitar-driven life; on ‘Logic of a Dream’, distant vocals and thumping toms add some …Trail of Dead-esque tumult.
Cynically, it’s almost become a checklist; a prediction of where and when the requisite loud/quiet dynamics will truly kick in. And while ‘Landing Cliffs’ is another beautiful exercise in familiarity, ‘Colours In Space’ feels naked and exposed – its easy melodies crying out for vocals to make it complete. It’s a stark contrast to the big, blank canvases that came rolling out of Texas in the early noughties but after sixteen years of creating a beautiful kind of emotional ambiguity, this time there’s just indifference.