Texas. Post-rock. No vocals. But absolutely not Explosions in the Sky.
Any comparisons between My Education and their Austin brethren are laid to waste as soon as the first note from their sixth album, A Drink for All My Friends, registers. It isn’t the familiar sound of an epic guitar tapping the ear drum. Instead, we hear a pleasing bow making its way through the strings of a viola. This particular instrument, as well as other orchestral inserts peppered throughout, makes the band their own beast. Try to pigeonhole My Education, and you’ll wind up with egg on your face. Or, if we’re talking Austin, barbecue on your…no, let’s just stick with egg.
Genres are tackled and toyed with from one track to another. The delicate viola and vibraphone of “A Drink…” transform into a moodier, dread-inducing drumbeat filled with echo-guitar in “…For All My Friends”. The song transitions are well-sequenced, and for the most part run smooth despite their thematic differences. I say most because the appropriate home for album closer “Homunculus” (as big as it reads) is in the middle of a Trans-Siberian Orchestra record.
That’s not to say the band can’t crank up their codes to thunderous results. “Roboter-HÃ¶hlenbewohner” (my favorite song title of the year) rallies around its relentless rhythm section to deliver a Pink Floyd circa-The Wall flight, high above a big city at night. However, it’s those strings that win the day, a point the dark-country bows of “Happy Village” drive home later in the album. My Education has no issues with variety. They just need to figure out the right fat to trim from songs, as well as what genres to stay away from in the future.
Essential Tracks: “A Drink”, “Roboter-HÃ¶hlenbewohner”, and “Happy Village”