Explosions in the Sky, Fridge

The four young dudes in Explosions in the Sky are certifiable film freaks, and it shows through in their music, which is full of invisible plotlines and peppered with imagery. In fact, for the Austin instrumentalists, songwriting is something like amateur screenwriting: Come up with a couple of images that tell a story, then translate them to music. Last year's Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever was filled with aural images of big skies, bright stars and dark nights. Time and again, reverberating guitar lines lock and mingle in a dance of mood and melody before slowly dissipating into the great wide yonder. Their music brimming with wonder, awe and loneliness, it makes perfect sense that three-fourths of Explosions are originally from the fine West Texas town of Midland. In fact, the band recently relocated there temporarily to rediscover its songwriting spark, to cut down on living expenses and to take in more of the sunsets that so obviously inspire its gorgeously evocative music.

Before they settle in, though, there's the matter of blazing across the country in their notoriously unreliable van, playing a set of shows with both Temporary Residence labelmates Fridge and Austin über-rockers ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead. Their upcoming dates with Trail of Dead mark Explosions' second tour in the past six months with their fellow Austinites, an experience that seems to have instilled the quartet with a confidence one can only get from night after night of sold-out venues and intense rock pyrotechnics.

Though there is a heavy rock edge to Explosions--witness the power crunch and electric fury of Those Who Tell the Truth opener "Greet Death"--on this night they'll be accompanied by the cut-and-paste organic bliss of U.K.'s Fridge. Fridge is a trio of multi-instrumentalists who, on their latest Temporary Residence effort, Happiness, are more than happy to tell you about it, with song titles like "Melodica and Trombone," "Drum Machines and Glockenspiels" and "Tone Guitar and Drum Noise." Their music is loose, free and always pleasant, with obvious nods to Steve Reich and, on the cuts featuring the melodica, Tortoise-cum-Ennio Morricone. Fridge doesn't quite have the drama quotient of Explosions in the Sky, but it probably wouldn't be a stretch to use that overused word again when describing its atmosphere: cinematic.

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Michael Chamy

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