While We're From Japan! would have you believe it's from the Land of the Rising Sun, a far more likely birthplace would be Iceland -- specifically, Sigur Rós's garage. Raising more racket, if fewer goosebumps, than Jon Thor Birgisson and crew, the Portland group still evokes enough glacial grace and grandeur to ride a herd of reindeer down. The act's first two instrumental releases, 2003's To Telescope and a split last year with former Ribbon Fix chanteuse Andi Camp, seeded the clouds for its new disc, 48 Minutes, 7 Seconds, Then Open Air. With assistance from violinist Kristin Buckman, not to mention Camp on piano, the band lets loose a chilling burst of ambience that shimmers with all the latent tension and melody of Explosions in the Sky's The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place. While its point of origin might be deliberately obscured, there's no doubting We're From Japan!'s residence in the realm of breathtaking, organic post-rock.
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