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ARCHIVES | 2008 | MUSIC | THIS WILL DESTROY YOU


Biography

Not much more than a year ago, a tiny, unknown band from Texas put out their debut record “Young Mountain” through Magic Bullet Records, a 6-song, 36 minute disc toriginally only intended to be a DIY demo sold at local shows. It’s fair to say that nobody could have predicted the year to follow, one in which THIS WILL DESTROY YOU went from local heroes to international darlings at a trajectory quicker than shit through a goose.

 

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The phenomenon took hold shortly after a brief basement tour of the west coast with labelmates SPARROWS SWARM AND SING. After a fun trip filled with good times and surprisingly large audiences (this was their first time out of Texas), the band returned home, unknowingly settling into what would become the eye of the storm to follow. Reviews of the album began to pour in, all singing unanimous praise. Hell, even Pitchfork liked it... inciting a scramble for the record at retail and online (the band became one of iTunes’ top artists in 2007). This parlayed into the THIS WILL DESTROY YOU being name-checked in publications like Rolling Stone and ultimately being awarded “2006 Album Of The Year” by Rock Sound editor Darren Taylor.

2007 saw even more growth for the band, as their music started seeing placement in everything from skateboarding and paintball videos to cable networks (VH1, Fuel, MTV) to independent documentary films and even major studio films. Meanwhile, the band stayed active on the live front, stealing the show at a sold-out SXSW showcase and accepting an invitation to tour the U.S. with soon-to-be-upstaged-every-single-night FEAR BEFORE THE MARCH OF FLAMES.

 

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“S/T” is the second album from THIS WILL DESTROY YOU, clocking in a 7 tracks and 52 minutes. Recorded and produced by John Congleton (EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY, MODEST MOUSE, R. KELLY), it is a stunning and worthy follow-up to “Young Mountain.” Darker and seamlessly more dynamic and emotionally gripping than its predecessor, “S/T” is primed and ready to push their entire genre forward and continue to win the band hearts and minds across the planet. This is a landmark album by a band that will inevitably be mentioned in the same breath as MOGWAI and SIGUR RÓS without hesitation. Dive in. THIS WILL ROCK YOU.

 

Discography

-) 2006 : 'Young Mountain' on Magic Bullet Records.

Pitchfork's point of view :

In 2005, as a part of Temporary Residence's Travels in Constants series, Explosions in the Sky released The Rescue, an eight-song "mini LP" (their words) that condensed the band's normally epic sound into smaller, bite-sized nuggets. Several months later, Mogwai released Mr. Beast, their fifth album, and surprised fans when no song crossed the six-minute mark. This, from a genre where anything under eight minutes feels short. These albums show that tension can exist within the confines of each riff and melody, not just the song as a whole. Continuing this trend, San Marcos, Texas natives This Will Destroy You's debut LP Young Mountain proves that when the mood is there, it doesn't need 15 minutes per song to develop.

Much like Explosions in the Sky and Mono, This Will Destroy You use their instruments expertly to create a brooding anxiety that threatens to erupt at any moment. They often build in traditional instro-post-rock fashion, starting calm before growing to a dense wall of guitars and cymbals, but they never really feel bound by that formula. The opening track, "Quiet", is more about repetition than evolution, as once the instruments kick in early in the song, they don't spend much time further developing the melody. That's not a bad thing, though, because the atmosphere is there, hidden beneath the swirling guitar noise.

But mostly this is an exercise in controlled arrangements. The band employs its fair share of effects, especially delay and reverb, but rarely does the noise spiral out of control. "I Believe in Your Victory" bucks this trend, exhuding a more triumphant and upbeat spirit. All of the foreboding elements are still there, but a slight shift in the melody makes all the difference. "Grandfather Clock" also sets itself apart, this time with a skittering electronic beat that flutters behind the guitars and keys up front. These two tracks offer a brief respite from the bulk of the album, which is dark and intense.

Unfortunately, the disc ends far too abruptly. At a scant 36 minutes, this feels more like an EP than an LP. Given that Magic Bullet's release is actually a reissue of what the band self-released last year, I can't help but wonder if another song or two wouldn't have strengthened it. After all, if you're going to call your band This Will Destroy You, you damn well better. As it is, I feel like they've only delivered the initial blows.

Cory D. Byrom - website.

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-) 2008 : 'This Will Destroy You' on Magic Bullet Records.

Rock Sound's point of view :

It's fair to say that our post-rock palates have been well truly gorged over the past few years as more and more bands have chosen to abandon vocals in favour of the instrumental sonic attack. As such, the whole scene has become a little stagnant, with very few bands attempting anything new to raise the genre bar, even slightly.

When San Marcos, Texas, outfit This Will Destroy You first picked up their instruments back in 05 and unleashed their self-recorded, self-released demo, they certainly turned a few heads with their cataclysmic riffs. Soon signed to Magic Bullet Stateside, the demo was repackaged and released as mini-album 'Young Mountain' and has since gone on to sell more than 20,000 copies worldwide. That's nothing to be scoffed at in this digital day and age, while constant touring throughout 07 helped raise their profile even further, winning them plenty of new fans. Comparisons with neighbouring Texans, and genre stalwarts, Explosions In The Sky are easy to make. They even got The Paper Chase's John Congleton - who produced EITS's last opus and has also worked with the likes of Modest Mouse, Black Mountain, and R Kelly - to record this self-titled debut full-length. However, while such similarities abound, TWDY have now proven themselves to be premier post-rock proponents in their own right.

This album's eponymous title is quite apt for the music they create: like the soundtrack to the impending apocalypse, This Will Destroy You conjure up intense musical soundscapes, fraught with emotion, desolation, and optimism.

Rising gracefully from the void of dense radio crackle, opening salvo 'A Three-Legged Workhorse' gently pulses, slowly but surely coursing into action - layer upon layer of distortion and feedback shimmering like shards of silk and eventually giving way to the simple, yet striking, guitar refrain that makes the track gently flourish before exploding into a huge wall of noise that simply floors you.

They say all good things come to those who wait, and that's certainly no exception on this album: This Will Destroy You have thoroughly mastered the art of the slow build-up.

Track two, the hauntingly claustrophobic 'Villa Del Refugio', drags you into its sea of fuzz and distortion before segueing into the triumphant guitars of 'Threads', a track which harks back to 'Young Mountain''s visceral sound more than any other on the new record. And it's a joyously optimistic sound that swirls around and around before climaxing in a gloriously overwhelming crescendo. Elsewhere, the album's centrepiece, 'The Mighty Rio Grande', is just that - an 11-minute epic that showcases TWDY's musical prowess in its fullest glory.

Occasionally, samples and electronica are intertwined in the mix, but never to the detriment of the guitars, instead bathing the music in an incredible atmospheric ambience, heard to best effect on the stunning 'They Move On Tracks Of Never-Ending Light'.

We're not sure what they put in the water in Texas, but when records like this are the result, we're certainly not complaining. Masters of post-rock without the pretension, to put it quite simply, this will destroy you.

Rating: 9/10

Darren Taylor - website.

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Audio

You can listen to a few tracks here.

 

Video

This Will Destroy You - The World Is Our

This Will Destroy You - A Three Legged Workhorse

 

Web

-) Official site.
-) Myspace.
-) Magic Bullet Records.