New Others Part Two by This Will Destroy YouRelease date: October 16, 2018
Label: Dark Operative
Only a few weeks have passed since Texan rockers This Will Destroy You released New Others Part One, an album I reviewed but was distinctly underwhelmed by. To everyone’s surprise New Others Part Two dropped from out of nowhere and so I decided to take the opportunity to redeem my previous misgivings on the band’s latest work. I must admit, this decision was taken after listening to this album first, albeit only one listen was enough to warrant confirmation.
I found New Others Part One to be claustrophobic and dark, almost suffocating with a refusal, for the most part, to rise up and reach for the stars. There was a little too much aimless drone for my liking and over the course of such a short album, this was taking up too much valuable time and diminishing my urge to repeat play. I’m pleased to say that New Others Part Two is a different album in so many ways, yet intrinsically linked to the first because it is essentially more of the same, just executed so much better. I commented that new members Jesse Kees and Robi Gonzalez must have had a considerable say in the recording process and on this album, Christopher King and Jeremy Galindo get to reclaim some glory as the guitars are more prevalent and this is really for the better.
Hurtling out of the traps with frightening velocity comes opener ‘Sound of Your Death’, all machine gun drums and an industrial machine droning guitar flying high in the mix. A fired up and storming track, the kind of which I felt was missing on New Others Part One, this bodes well for the rest of the album. The band get locked into a merciless groove before stopping off for a dreamy passage of ethereal guitars while Robi snarls and chomps at the bit to get going again. As backtracked noises usurp the airspace the drummer is eventually silenced. ‘Lie Down In the Light’ comes to life with a droning noise soundscape like U2’s ‘Where the Streets Have No Name’ intro processed to within an inch of its life. Heavenly voices permeate the mix to add to the atmosphere of intense bright lights and rapturous elation.
The downbeat ‘Clubs’ features some wondrous swirling and twinkling sounds and tones and a twanging guitar with just the perfect amount of tremolo, before there is an eruption of fury into walls of huge distortion and Robi’s flame is re-ignited. The final passage finds This Will Destroy You attempt to recreate the comedown section of Explosions In The Sky’s ‘Greet Death’. I happen to love that piece of music so I can forgive the blatant plagiarism. The warped electronics that introduce ‘Jesse Ray’ are like some digitised alarm clock that has dropped from a great height into a lake. As the track gains momentum Robi gets to go Animal again and it adds an intriguing dynamic to a track that would have remained lifeless if it had been on New Others Part One.
If ever a This Will Destroy You track could serve as the instrumentation to a tremendous song, it’s ‘Cascade’, with a high number of melodic hooks it is also the most dynamic track on offer across these albums. Gorgeous guitar tones combine with an incessant bass line to stunning effect. ‘New Promise Land Inc.’ is the only track on New Others Part Two that encompasses only weird electronics and drones, but the track has spirit and the heavily treated strings make for a sound collage that has a similar Disney-esque element like latter day Flaming Lips.
Final track ‘Provoke’ is a truly marvellous end to an intriguing album that is Yin to the Yang of New Others Part One. Beautiful searing harmonica (?) slips and slides with languid guitars to make a joyous and extremely pleasing passage before the unexpected comes. Just as you think the track is going to fade out, there are four giant tom thumps and away we go into a flurry of crashing cymbals, swirling guitars and the most humongous bass throb. Then the sporadic and simplistic guitars fire out at tangents all over this intense backdrop, to turn the track on its head into an epic and seismic explosion of sublime post metal. The track eventually ebbs away into a freaked out scenario of night time noises like an aural accompaniment to the Blair Witch Project.
Is it right to reference New Others Part One as much as I have in this review? The naming of this album and the swiftness of which it was released suggests to me that the answer to this question is a resounding yes. Play the two albums back to back and you’ll find that there is a seamless transition as the atmosphere changes from darkness to something much more optimistic and euphoric. Every track on the album invites repeated play and holds your attention with a greater variation in dynamics and a technicolour palette of sounds. As I said at the outset of this review, I wanted to redeem my less than agreeable review of New Others Part One. This Will Destroy You have most certainly redeemed themselves with New Others Part Two.