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Drums and Guns (Bonus Track Version)

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Editors’ Notes

Nothing in this Duluth, Minnesota trio’s past prepares you for the sinister noir of their eighth full-length album. Teaming up with Flaming Lips producer Dave Fridmann, who oddly toughened up their sound with greater convention on 2005’s The Great Destroyer, the group head into an instrumental netherworld where time ticks by in slow, erratic degrees and a disturbing sense of unease permeates the feedback-drenched guitars and loitering keyboards. The minimalist instrumental backing serves as an austere backdrop for the rare vocals that emit from a faraway campsite where a human sacrifice wouldn’t be out of question. These are songs about death and murder where the blood still smells fresh. A hint of Tom Waits’ mechanical rhythm structures lingers in the disruptive, slow churning rhythms. An Arabian exoticism informs “Sandinista.” A deliberately unfunky groove works over “Always Fade.” Séance chants spike the foreboding gloom of “Dust On the Window.” Low have made the soundtrack to a film that may never exist. But it should conjure up some pretty grisly visuals in your imagination should you attempt to meditate to these tunes that redefine the “murder ballad” genre.

Biography

Formed: 1993 in Duluth, MN

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Formed in Duluth, Minnesota, in 1993, Low were perhaps the slowest of the so-called "slowcore" bands — delicate, austere, and hypnotic, the trio's music rarely rose above a whisper, divining its dramatic tension in the unsettling open spaces created by the absence of sound. Initially comprising the husband-and-wife team of guitarist/vocalist Alan Sparhawk and drummer/vocalist Mimi Parker along with bassist John Nichols, Low began as an experimental reaction to the predominance of grunge. Producer...
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Drums and Guns (Bonus Track Version), Low
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