The second LP from We Miss the Earth was released in 2011. Entitled Orphans, Widows, Indeed, we see the Portland band shift their gears to greater heights, upgrading their sound with even better detail and ramping up their creativity. Fresh from listening to A New Silent Era, one can clearly notice the amount of inventiveness and creative freedom that was put into these songs. While their debut created a foundation for their sound, this sophomore album tries to launch it even further in a wide direction. Both the darker post-punk and lighter pop side of the band are explored and given their time to shine, which we will examine by looking at the album in two halves.
The first half is definitely the darker side in this yin and yang. “Modern Violence” does not disappoint the premise provided by its title. Chris Koza starts out with speed and aggression through punchy drums, dense layers of noise and unpredictable moments. His reverb-soaked vocals soar over clamoring guitars, drums and strings – singing with brutalist post-punk fervor on how our modern times are encroaching on our humanity. The next two tracks are similar in concept and energy. “Enforced By Aircraft” and “Voices In The Jet Engine” are both exercises in thick noise layers and how beautiful they can be. Where instead of guitars it may seem like the band wrangled together jet engines to craft both these beefy masterpieces.
And it’s after this point that we see the second side of We Miss The Earth being explored. “Fear of Breathing”, contrary to its title, gives us some time to breathe. Here we find the band with their catchiest pop, making what is essentially a surf-pop tune except accompanied by their trusty shoegaze tones. The next track is even more bizarre. “In Dreaming” takes away all of the harshness for clean guitar tones all throughout. A winding chord progression wraps around this song, leading to a feeling of being suspended in a dreamspace. Definitely one of the more unique numbers of their whole discography.
By the end of the album both the dark and catchy sides converge and the journey goes full circle. “Back in the Sun” combines good shoegaze with groovy pop, which makes the journey all level out and feel complete. We Miss The Earth did a good job in crafting and pacing this sophomore effort. They essentially dove headfirst into weird explorations only to come back to their roots even better. All while stringing the listener along the way. Marvelous!