Album Review: This Will Destroy You – Another Language

While attending the ArcTanGent festival two weeks back, I was reminded–as I basked in both a light rain and the gig’s deep blue lighting–of how much I deviate from consensus with regard to Texan post-rock/”doomgaze” outfit This Will Destroy You. To my fellow critics, their self-titled debut is an assured, but also frustratingly conventional, melodic post-rock record, whereas ‘Tunnel Blanket’ is the free-spirited, noise-y, ambient, album that truly placed the band on the map. Thing is–and I’m no stranger to the genres these peeps dabble in–I found the latter’s drone-heavy tracklist terribly drawn-out, insubstantial and all too often quite dull. On the other hand, many a track from ‘This Will Destroy You’ remained a staple of my late-night listening before the post-rock fatigue settled in. Coarsely, third album ‘Another Language’ might be described as a superior take on ‘Tunnel Blanket’, but not without the odd hint of throwback. It has all the adventurousness and darkness of their second, but also a variety in tone and texture it sorely missed.

The band’s beginnings are most obviously felt in ‘Another Language’’s opening two tracks ’New Topia’ and ’Dustism’. Those unmistakeable guitar melodies, crystal-clear amongst an ethereal softness of synths and xylophones, the predictable curve of their “set forth towards that climax” structure, all inevitably lead back to that style they claim to be so hellbent on putting behind them. At this point, one might be forgiven for not giving such claims much weight. Yet past the second track, there’s a shift in emphasis back towards the freeform ambiences of ‘Tunnel Blanket’ and, in truth, far beyond.

Liberties are taken in the form of the double climax of the gloomy ’War Prayer’, the lounge-like chill of ’Mother Opiate’ that’s almost feverish in its languor, the cavernous soundscapes of ’God’s Teeth’, ’Memory Loss’ gloriously seamless crescendo from airy tranquillity to what can only be described as a scintillating wall of noise. As opposed to ‘Tunnel Blanket’, tracks actually feel like they have their own identity, as opposed to being all made of the same cloth. That’s not to say that their somewhat shoegaze-y brand of dark post-rock is going to draw the masses in any time soon, but for us aficionados ‘Another Language’ truly feels like what ‘Tunnel Blanket’ should’ve been: an ambitious, richly-textured, sombre, and, for once, truly free piece of atmospheric rock. Small caveat: it’s just too bad Talons outdid them barely a month ago with their new album ’New Topographics’. No need to choose though, both these albums demand a spot on your shelf.


‘Another Language’ by This Will Destroy You is out now on Suicide Squeeze Records.

This Will Destroy You links: Official Website|Tumblr|Twitter

Words by James Berclaz-Lewis (@bearclawlewis)


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