CD Drums and Guns (CD 1119205),
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Drums and Guns
1. Pretty People
6. Always Fade
7. Dust on the Window
9. Your Poison
10. Take Your Time
11. In Silence
13. Violent Past
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 736
Dave Fridmann; Dave Friedmann
Audio Mixer: Dave Fridmann.
Recording information: Tarbox Road Studios, Cassadaga, NY.
Photographers: Dave Fridmann; Jimi Sides.
Thirteen years into their career, Low are still a unique, ever-mutating band. DRUMS AND GUNS is perhaps the trio's most stark and minimalist album since 1995's LONG DIVISION. A near-concept album that deals obliquely with the Iraq War and other forms of violent unrest, the lyrics remain cohesive on otherwise varied songs such as the dreamy "Hatchet" and the oppressive, brooding "Breaker." DRUMS AND GUNS feels paradoxically quiet, though, almost serene in its tunes and arrangements. Only the closing "Violent Past" approaches the epic swells that mark most previous Low albums. Mimi Parker and Alan Sparhawk's vocals, as always, are the band's most important element, and both sound exquisite throughout. A somber but not depressing album, DRUMS AND GUNS is one of Low's finest.
Q (p.126) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[A] purely musical delight....War, violence and death have rarely been sung about so tenderly."
Alternative Press (p.152) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "[A] musically tender, lyrically brutal outing at least as potent as the best moments on Yo La Tengo's I CAN HEAR THE HEART BEATING AS ONE."
Magnet (p.108) - "[With] plenty of mellotrons and other keyboards, the type that are central to the sonic architecture so characteristic of returning producer Dave Fridmann's planetarium-pop experiments."
The Wire (p.55) - "[A] sparer, more abrasive mix of loops, drum machines and distortion....It's a bold move, yet one that plays to their strengths, highlighting the tension and restraint that has long underpinned the group's material."
The Wire (p.35) - Included in The Wire's "50 Records of the Year 2007".
CMJ (p.39) - "[They] remain one of the most prolific and affecting musical partnerships of the past two decades, striking a perfect balance between Sparhawk's foot-note guitar playing and Parker's terse drumming..."
No Depression (p.112) - "Low employs guitars almost solely for color....Melodies don't' come much more beautiful than the album-closing 'Violent Past'."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.102) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "The sublime combination of Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker's trance-inducing voices are still their trump card....A record that sounds like absolutely no one else on the planet."
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Sub Pop (USA) SPCD 736
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