Another Language is the instrumental band This Will Destroy You’s third full length studio album. If you know what this band does and how it does it, you would know by now the way they paint their landscapes: long, drawn out, and calming. Not calming in the sense of a breezy autumn afternoon, but a calm stream or at times rushing waters as you walk along its banks; you can sense its power, but you aren’t thrown in without a second thought. You set up camp and watch the waves rush by, seeing where the waters break, where the rocks dot out and cause it to shake, and where the waters cease.
I can also picture listening to this album as if walking through a bit of mud. It shows through in the music’s production, something This Will Destroy You carried over from their studio album before this, Tunnel Blanket. A bit tiring at times, but always so warm and inviting. It’s – in my mind – a forerunner in the progressive and shoegaze department of music. If not in your mind (and by all means it doesn’t have to be), it at least stands out. I see people talking about this band, and specifically about this album as pushing themselves into a corner. As if this is the only sound they can come up with. Considering it as true, I don’t mind. It’s a corner where you can always find warmth and simple visualizations to match.
New Topia is the opening track. A “new place” is a nice place to start anew with this album. This is where the river cinematic perspective comes from. It starts as a calmly stretched river, and as you go further down its banks, it suddenly is roaring. It’s compact and fast moving. And then it quickly dies down again as it flows into the second song, Dustism. See, most songs they produce have a calm beginning that builds itself upon layers with time, and then sheds those layers as it ends. This song isn’t as heavy handed as some others. It doesn’t speed up too much, but it doesn’t slow down either. There isn’t a break in this part of the river. It slowly flows its way into a beautiful crescendo. I could go on about each song, but I don’t think it’s necessary. As long as you get the point. Serpent Mound is an example of a sudden break and rush mid-stream. Sometimes you have to brace for impact. The other songs follow suit, and it ends with the last song God’s Teeth as calm as it starts.
Another Language is an album I always listen to the whole way through. The story, or for lack of better words (or any) a painting, it doesn’t change much, but there isn’t a spot I’d want to miss. I can always put this on in the background and read, or fall asleep blissfully to. I think this is an album that can either be easily ignored, or not easily forgotten. It’s straightforward, so if it isn’t your cup of tea, there isn’t much you can find, but if this particular sound is something you can admire, you will admire it gleefully and wholly. A nothing or everything type of situation.
Thanks so much for reading. I would love to hear if because of this review, you ended up giving it a listen, and what you thought about it. Did you picture it similarly, or in a totally different fashion? I’d love to hear it. – Erik