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This Will Destroy You plays with the same wide-screen dynamics as fellow instrumental bliss mongers Explosions in the Sky and Mogwai: distorted sunbursts wreaking havoc on your eardrums and crushing your senses with a supernova of sound. But the Texas quartet’s softer side is what makes its music more than just stomp-pedal symphonies. The somnolent songs and passages on This Will Destroy You’s second full-length, Tunnel Blanket, weep with beauty and desolation, evoking the long stretches of emptiness, isolation, and loneliness that span the heart of the Lone Star state. Sure, the band will sometimes pull out the dynamite and detonate the meditative existentialism conjured by its ambient sections, but it’s like a forest fire: Burn it all down so life can begin again.
This Will Destroy You performs with Nighty Nite and John LaMonica at 8:30 p.m. at Rock & Roll Hotel, 1353 H St. NE. $12 in advance; $14 day of.