In the canon of great instrumental rock albums, This Will Destroy You’s eponymous debut album from 2008 stands out as one of the most intriguing. On it, the four-piece from San Marcos, Texas refined yet reinvigorated the post-rock template without sounding too derivative, adding layers of tension and genuine emotion between the slabs of noise. Sadly, 2011’s disappointing follow-up Tunnel Blanket sounded desperately unfocused, failing to capture what it was that made them such a commanding presence in the first place.
Luckily, Another Language can just about be described as a return-to-form, if never quite scaling the heights of their debut record. If anything, it finds the band veering away from the loud-quiet-loud formula of post-rock, instead moving deeper in ambient soundscapes, even coming perilously close to chill-out territory. On ‘New Topia’, ‘Serpent Mound’ and ‘Invitation’ they balance the moody, airless atmospherics with liberating guitars to great effect.
Other tracks veer into Stars of the Lid-type moments where guitars lie mostly idle, as on closing track ‘God’s Teeth’. When the loud pay-offs do come they don’t outstay their welcome. Another Language is the sound of a band tentatively exploring new territories within instrumental music but it also feels like a work in progress. The best, hopefully, is yet to come.