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 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Low
Drums and Guns
Sub Pop

Rating: 8.5/10 ?


February 19, 2007
For those who cried foul over The Great Destroyer, Low's 2005 debut for Sub Pop, a bit of calming down is in order. While Destroyer was marked by forays into poppy experimentation, the Duluth outfit are now ready to reclaim the slowcore ground they once lived upon. Although they utilize the same business model as their previous effort with producer Dave Fridmann at the helm, Drums and Guns is a study in the best of what makes Low, well... Low.

Simply put, Drums and Guns is brilliant. Darkly shining in a sea of anti-war and politically charged releases, the husband/wife duo of Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker along with bassist Matt Livingston, have beautifully blended a macabre worldview with their signature slow-churning-yet-poetic soundscapes. What has changed a bit this time around is in how minimal the trio allows the sound to become, which isn't much. Fridmann has become the master at creating roughly produced textures which fill in Low's white space perfectly. Drums and Guns is a headphones album, in that the cans are needed to catch all the sampled idiosyncrasies in place.

"Pretty People" morosely starts the album with Sparhawk declaring over distortion, "All soldiers/ They're all gonna die/ All the little babies/ They're all gonna die/ All the poets and all the liars/ All you pretty people/ You're all gonna die." With an appropriate tone established, Spawhawk and Parker continue to espouse their political and spiritual views of the world on appropriately-titled songs like "Murderer" and "Your Poison," the latter of which is a largely a capella number that works surprisingly well.

Livingston's enhancements are perfect on Drums and Guns, drawing the listener into the throbbing "Murderer" and picking things up a bit on "Always Fade," which finds an atypical street beat backing up the minor harmonies. Other tracks like "Breaker" have Fridmann's fingerprints all over them, utilizing drum loops and a dirty organ to get the job done.

By the time Sparhawk notes, "One more thing before I go..." at album's end, it becomes clear that, however early in the voting period we may be, Drums and Guns will undoubtedly go down as one of 2007's strongest albums.

Reviewed by Matt Conner
A contributing writer, Matt Conner lives in Anderson, Indiana.

See other reviews by Matt Conner

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