Oh god, I done did it again… One too many crantinis and this girl became an absolute trainwreck – complete with tear-smeared mascara and thirteen “prof pic!” updates in the space of 45 minutes, all iced with a nice Technicolor yawn and a porcelain pillow at the end of the night. What was I thinking??? I kid, I kid. So it wasn’t quite that kind of night, sorry to disappoint, but I did manage to find another perfectly neat, and much less “I’m-going-to-feel-like-a-complete-dumbass-in-the-morning-once-I-have-slept-off-this-jackhammer-being-taken-to-my-temple,” way to destroy myself on a Saturday night: at the hands of the sonic sex that is This Will Destroy You.
It is coming up on two weeks already since this show, but the details and complete awe are still quite fresh. Saturday, March 22 and the nearly five-year wait to actually be in a location to be able to catch them live came to an end at the Larimer Lounge in Denver. If you ever come across an opportunity to see a show at this place, DO NOT MISS SAID SHOW. Not exactly your typical venue, the Larimer is no more than a run-of-the-mill dive with a postage-stamp-sized stage in the back room, flanked by a mini-bar, all coated in heavy black. However, the result is an incredibly intimate setting, perfect for an indie show like this one, with no spot in the whole joint more than spitting distance from the action.
Silent Land Time Machine opened up. One guy, one electric viola, one metric shit-ton of delay, and zero shoes. Awesome. Be sure to look him up if you are a fan of experimental, very experimental, 10-minute soundscapes that bring together droning whale songs and occasionally what a viola actually sounds like – and I mean that in the best possible way. There’s nothing out there quite like it and one cannot help but to quickly take an interest, if for nothing more than its oddity.
On to the headliner. Hanging out at the bar and wandering the Lounge most of the night, Texas’s, and one of post-rock’s (though they hate being pigeon-holed to that label) finest outfits, could have easily been mistaken for anyone there to see them – another testament to the atmosphere of the Larimer. Beanies, Coke bottle reading glasses, and fists of Stella Artois have a way of doing that at such a show. The lights went down as the shadows of Chris King, Jeremy Galindo, Donovan Jones – along with his gorgeous face shield – and Alex Bhore took the stage. Time for magic to happen. The gradual crescendo of ambience leading “A Three Legged Workhorse” got the set off to a wonderfully face-melting start. An extremely slow build of light E-bow laced guitar and gentle cymbal taps, as per usual with TWDY, quickly throws you into an ethereal trance, lulling you nearly to the edge of a coma. A steady swell of noise, and at about the 3:30 mark, once good and buttered up, an absolute tidal wave of overdriven, symphonic guitar and crunchy bass comes along to blow you away, yet manages to simultaneously pull you even deeper into a state of pure Zen (just ask any of the 15 or 20 people swaying back and forth with their eyes closed – through the whole show). The rest of the set hit on a couple tracks from their smash debut, “Young Mountain,” as well as a couple from the much more subdued, haunting “Tunnel Blanket,” and the eponymous sophomore effort in its near entirety. It sure as hell kept you there: soothing, enigmatic intros and slow, icy builds, crashing, exploding cymbals, and DAT BASS. What these guys create is truly phenomenal, melding the chill elements of Explosions In The Sky with the heavier, soaring peaks of counterparts Caspian, Mogwai, and Sigur Rós, and like the former three, without a lyric to be found, making them all the more impressive.
Long story short: check them out immediately. Word on the street, from the mouth of Galindo himself, is that the newest release is due to drop mid-September. Their entire discography is well worth your time and money, and I will go out on a limb and say the upcoming release will be no different. You will not regret it. Unless you have something against things that are beautiful and not regurgitated modern pop garbage, that is… in which case, This Will Disappoint You.
Lend an ear and let yourself be gently demolished. It takes a bit to get going, but patience, grasshopper.