It was a fiercely hot day, with menacing black clouds away to the east. (Or at least I think they were in the east, I've only just moved to London, and right now I'm still trying to figure out which bit is the pavement and which bit's the sky. Regardless, this digression isn't helping me to build atmosphere, kind of the point of that gaudy first sentence.) I was looking down the hallway and through the balcony door when the rain started to fall. It was a light, stormy rainfall. A few cracks of thunder had begun to roll in the distance. But within the precipitation, something else was falling: blossom.

Why have I just vomited 100+ words of florid exposition into a record review? Because I'm reviewing a post-rock (sorry, 'doomgaze') album: This Will Destroy You's second full-length, Tunnel Blanket. And of course, imagery such as the above is the sort of thing post-rock (doomgaze) is all about. It's the end of the world, man. Oh shit, check out the ocean, it's big. Etc. So yesterday as the blossom made friends with the rain in a London thunderstorm, I stood watching it unfold while listening to Tunnel Blanket for the first time. Then I made a cup of tea and applied for a few jobs.

Post-rock (doomgaze) is a horse if not flogged to death, then certainly flogged to death-ish. I've heard a lot of this stuff over the years and enjoyed a great deal of it. But I honestly don't think the world needs any more albums chock full of delayed and reverbed guitars over long, winding, hypnotic, repetitive, cascading, quiet-loud dynamic, winding, hypnotic, repetitive instrumental passages and crescendos. I just don't. That said, it would be remiss of me not to give TWDY a fair crack of the whip. That it's taken me half a review to do so is perhaps unfair, but then so is taking ten minutes to get to the point in a song. (I'm kidding; I know it's all about the journey, man.)

The band has once again roped in fellow Texan John Congleton to produce, and as such the record sounds lovely. For those unfamiliar with Congleton's output as a musician and producer, I sentence you to a lifetime of listening to nothing but post-rock (doomgaze) records with no visual stimulus to make it seem important. Twelve-minute opener 'Little Smoke' gently whispers into view, pulling off that trick of being so quiet for the first couple of minutes that you crank your speakers up to hear what the hell is going on, only to be battered about the head when the heavy drone kicks in.

And make no mistake; this album is all about the drone. Loud drone, quiet drone, fat drone, skinny drone, TWDY don't care, they just wanna drone. So as the main body of 'Little Smoke' pours out of your headphones (and you really do need to listen to the album on headphones), you become lost in a fug of slow pulsing riffs and sombre nodding. This is nothing new, of course, assuming you've ever listened to Isis, or Cult of Luna, or Jesu. But still, it's done well, it sounds huge and the requisite apocalyptic imagery is summoned.

Not to suggest that TWDY are one-trick ponies. Original, no, but the band shifts tone (if not pace) via quieter shoegaze pieces. This is quite a relief, given the thing the world needs most after more post-rock is bands re-imagining shoegaze. It's almost a shame that there are no disco beats on here to complete the set of Things I've Heard Enough Of. But getting away from my own embittered cynicism, the bright and up-tempo 'Killed the Lord, Left for the New World' provides welcome respite, albeit by recalling the jollier moments of Explosions In The Sky (more Congleton/Texas links) with its use of marching band drumming. Likewise, the electronic-sounding pulse that permeates 'Osario' adds needed colour to the record's palette.

Overall, we're dealing with an album that pushes no boundaries, but is a solid enough example of its genre. I've read that the band hates the post-rock epithet, hence the use of the not-at-all-less-ludicrous 'doomgaze' tag. Still, the latter description does fit, even if it doesn't succeed in making the band seem any less derivative. If you still enjoy this type of music, or are a newcomer to instrumental rock, then give it a go. Just stick some headphones on, close your eyes, picture a natural disaster or a violent weather system, and off you go.

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