Space, in modern culture, is often portrayed as too clean. Spaceships lift off with smooth engines, piercing through the atmosphere with an athlete’s grace. Some aberrations from this cleansed norm exist, but mostly space is all about sleekness, efficiency and neon blue dreaming. However, what reality of space exploration exists reveals something crude, inefficient, dangerous and, often, dirty. A re-imagining is required, one that would bring back the balance in how we see the next final frontier. Red Hands Black Feet are here to assist us with that. Within the genre of post-rock, that clean perception of space is prevalent. Red Hands Black Feet, however, mix their dreamy post-rock with a helpful of sludge, sending furious blast-beats to chase down the starry gaze of delayed guitars and solemn melodies.
After the more traditional, post-rock sounds of the first track end in a fiery conflagration, second track “If I Let the Void In…” works on that promise with its monumental opening. The guitars are slow and far apart. Their interactions are violent and hectic. More than everything, the drums are intentionally produced in lo-fi reserved for bands like Inter Arma. They provide the furious backbone to this track which, while not sacrificing tremolo picking for example in order to maintain a post-rock basis, explores far and wide beyond the boundaries of traditional, cinematic post-rock. Space is made dirty again, a place of danger, sacrifice and raw emotion. The track keeps you guessing, changing up the drums for example right after the middle of the track, to shake you from any atmospheric complacency you might have found yourself and ushering in the weird ending to this track.
Its counterpart, “…It Will Set Me Free”, returns us to the more astral planes of classic post-rock. It picks up on elements from the first track but renders them in a sharper, healing light, perhaps closing some of the wounds that its predecessor had gouged into our vision. Together, they make up the core of this album, the pivot point. The rest of it is just engaging but it communicates with these moments. That’s a great thing. It makes We Must Fall Forever if We Survive into something rare within cinematic post-rock: unique. It’s scattered, dirty, poignant and heavy at times, offering a wide range on sounds instead of the usual, bright-eyed, slightly vacant gaze we use to look at space.