It's been a long wait - I got it just today and, after just 4 plays, it must be said that those who like this band will like this and those who love this band will love this band more than they ever did before. Why? Well as we might expect, they've not gone all Coldplay or Kid A on us, the trademark exploratory guitar beauty is all there - as ever - but what we have more of (occasionally) is a more cohesive and complimentary drum rhythm - helping to define those EITS powerhouse moments with even more rock force determination - coupled to some sparing but blissful piano that just adds enough to lift EITS up onto the next rung. Bringing the piano into these immense soundscapes is the perfect compliment for a heart seeking a home and a head seeking perfection. God this is one beautiful band.
After 2:10 of a gloriously elated fanfare to Track 1, the birth and death of a baby, the track melts into a short but strong celebratory cascade of chords, before throttling back into a brief melancholic interlude - then driving forward into overdriven elation. Suddenly the mood changes - uncertainty enters and the death is quick - but its spirit drifts seamlessly on into track 2, welcome, ghosts. It is here, about 1:30 in where you will hear what I mean by the more inventive use of drumming and rhythm - occasionally Bonhamesque in proportion and always wonderfully captured and produced. And on we roll into track 3, opening like a dream, like a field of aural flowers, like a star that glints and glistens and glows and grows before exploding before your very ears; I don't like comparing - but it's like the best of Sigur Ros only better - then it gets seriously better and better still and it always remains unmistakably EITS - and it just goes on getting better and better for over 12 minutes, 12 hours and 12 years until the piano intro of track 4 takes over and your heart just wants to give up - as EITS hit a new high - rolling waves of ecstatic pain all over the carcass of landscape guitars and then the hi-hat - the bass, the beat, the beauty, the AAAAAAAAAAGHHH!!
That's it - let there be no more light, no more distractions, no more thoughts and no more pain. Just let there be chords. Track 6 will kill you and you will be happy.
I regain consciousness and I realise that I'm going to see them do this live in just over a month. Oh my God, Oh my God.