Published Sep 12, 2014In 2010, This Will Destroy You bassist/keyboardist Donovan Jones stated, "fuck post-rock, and fuck being called post-rock," and the Texas quartet do their best to deliver on this mantra with third full-length Another Language. Attempting to channel something they've termed "doomgaze" — a mix between shoegaze and doom metal — the band continue exploring moody, ambient rock that they displayed on their 2011 sophomore LP, Tunnel Blanket.
The post-rock sound of their earlier work is still there — a triumphant undercurrent found amongst blasts of guitars and drums — especially on "Dustism" and "Invitation," but signs of a slow move away from post-rock territory are there. "Serpent Mound" starts off with three minutes of light ambient noise and some keys before the track abruptly starts to completely cut in and out. Just as you try and figure out what's wrong, the doomgaze hits you like water flooding out of a broken dam. Crunchier and noisier than anything This Will Destroy You has yet done, this major instrumental crescendo blends their face-melting melodic guitar lines with a solid wave of fuzzy, distorted sound and crashing drums.
The LP's biggest issue is the lengthy sparse, ambient portions that tend to lull and plod on for far too long. While this record is all about the payoffs, the wait doesn't always feel worth it. However, the album has a late-LP return to great pacing with the cascading "Invitation" and "Memory Loss," which negate the lulling middle section, so maybe this record is one giant experiment in long payoffs. Or, maybe the band is caught in between what they do well and what they want to do next. Regardless, Another Language is another good record that takes some risks, some more successful than others. (Suicide Squeeze)