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This Will Destroy You’s New Others Part One Values Journey over Destination

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In their first full-length in four years, San Marcos’ This Will Destroy You does what they do best — living up to their name by cultivating heart-wrenching music in-step with the post-rock gaze. New Others Part One continues to pave the road into the bright unknown with layers of roller coaster emotions. It’s a fitting theme when you consider how This Will Destroy You are no strangers to the long haul.

Since the early 2000’s, TWDY have uncovered the secrets to commercial success and compelling performances, the latter of which inspiring a live album in Reykjavik in 2013. The quartet are about to take the show on the road once more as they embark on a two-month tour starting in Phoenix and ending in Shanghai. As you consider all the dates crammed into their Facebook cover photo, you almost can’t help but wonder if it’s some sort of statement on perseverance. That being said, extensive touring hasn’t led TWDY to neglect their contributions in the studio. If anything, the driving forces behind their work ethic bleed into the work itself. And so, we’re left to stand in the very feely feels of New Others Part One. It is a sensory experience in which journey is valued over destination; a moving epic that could only originate from the perfect storm of an international scope and infinite Texas skies.

Starting with a gradual fade-in accompanied by welcoming drums, the chime-like pulses in the distance give you a case of the tingles. Ever the patient bunch, TWDY personifies putting one foot in front of the other as they demonstrate their mastery of the build-up and deconstruct method. “Syncage” takes a bit more risk by featuring a squeakiness that’s stimulating without becoming jarring. Matters become more machine-like as they progress – literally. A mechanism chugs as you sit back and watch its lights flicker like fireworks. Perhaps our only shot at survival is finding beauty in these mundane realities. While it is not always viable to achieve escapism by driving desolate highways in the South West, a little imagination can allow us to awake from everyday highway hypnosis.

Of course, it never hurts to slow down after running for so long. As we enter the album’s midsection with “Allegiance,” the tone becomes graver than what we normally encounter with TWDY. While patience is still being practiced, it can be hard to shake the feeling that you always need to be on to the next thing, when really, sometimes standing at rest is more than enough. Beauty is found in such a notion with “Weeping Window,” which evokes strong imagery of a hand pressed against a wet window. The brightness of siren-like guitar rings in the background. Fears are sending warning signals that life is passing by. But, by rewriting the rules of musical physics, TWDY proposes that what goes down must go up again as somber tones grow into something great. Drums find a home in a heart chamber as a sense of being alive is regained.

Bold, and maybe even brazen, the journey braces for takeoff as orchestral-like helicopter strokes lift us into the heavens of dystopian church music. Parting drums breakdown the lofty layers that have been stacked like a pyramid. While the final foray into single “Go Away Closer” is a bit disorienting, when viewed as an epilogue, it’s an important reminder that TWDY isn’t closing the book on their story while they’re ahead. While “happy metal” tends to garner some minor controversy, it’s ultimately bolstering TWDY’s accessibility outside of obscure experimental metal and art rock circles. Some may call this approach un-kvlt or un-cool, but regardless, it’s in artistic expression expanding the narrative on escaping struggle and seeking comfort. The process of getting there helps us find resilience in the face of adversary and appreciation for every little victory.

New Others Part One drops September 28th on Dark Operative. Follow the band on Facebook.

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