The Day We Left Earth

To The Shores EP

Written by: AP on 29/08/2016 18:51:56

Aside from the occasional social media update, Danish post-rock outfit The Day We Left Earth has been dormant for some time. After releasing their self-titled début album in 2011, the band underwent multiple personnel shuffles whilst recording a successor, and as a consequence, refrained entirely from the gig circuit over the past two years. But with the follow-up now issued in the form of this three-song digital EP, “To the Shores”, the trio’s return to action has been initiated. One can only hope the momentum will not dribble out this time — after all, the Danish post-rock scene is far from burgeoning already.

The Day We Left Earth is part of the majority within the genre that sees no need for vocals; all of the emotion resides in Casper Hübertz’ chiming guitar melodies, Lars Mårtensson’s affable bass lines, and Søren Kragh Simonsen’s welding drumming and percussion. And just by inspecting the artwork of the EP, which utilises the famously pleasant orange/teal contrast you see in practically every film nowadays, it is pretty obvious that TDWLE went for a mild and uplifting emotional palette — melodious, if quite ordinary. Like the covert art, the opening track “Today is the Day” is aesthetically pleasing but also harmless, in that although the necessary array of dynamics is put to work, the song is regrettably devoid of the transcendental quality that post-rock as a genre requires in order to thrive.

Indeed, it would serve the three musicians well to show a more capricious attitude toward songwriting, and to draw contrast for the tinkly and the lofty. Why not let those four lonesome distorted chords that Hübertz strikes around the 01:20 mark in “In the Midst of Adversity” evolve into something more violent and unpredictable, for instance? As is, that section sounds like it wants to, but dares not overstep the boundaries of TDWLE’s formula, and despite an intriguing trumpet soliloquy by Mads Winther Nielsen in the second half, the song loses its steam without ever even reaching a climax.

The primary weight of the EP is thus carried by the conclusive title track, which is riddled with cool freeform percussion patterns to go with its patient build-up, and via the slightest key shift as if to hint at distress, it actually follows through with the sort of heavy-yet-cinematic crescendo (infused with wacky samples) that is one of the keystones of the genre. It is a beautiful song and a reminder that in spite of the unofficial hiatus, TDWLE remains perfectly capable of leading the pack of domestic post-rockers. And should the band continue to chase this avenue for an eventual sophomore album, there can be little doubt that the potential underlying would be unleashed to much more impact.


Download: To the Shores
For the fans of: Late Night Venture, The Shaking Sensations, Mogwai
Listen: Facebook

Release date 01.08.2016

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