Half Notes: Low – Drums And Guns (2007)

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by Tom Johnson

Who knew Low would crank things up like they did with 2005’s The Great Destroyer, their Sub-Pop debut? Were they holding back all those years, or did the label urge them to do something different? Whatever it was, it worked against every notion fans had when word spread of what was on the horizon. But the bigger question was, what would happen on the next album? Now we know: drum machines! It’s not that simple, of course, and the results were much more pleasing than that makes it sound. And, actually, what we got is more raw and visceral than Destroyer, in some aspects. While Mimi Parker did not seem to be manning her snare drum as much, it was a real treat to actually hear some bass drum in Low’s sound, even if it was electronic in origin. In the end, this was a dark, dark album, so perhaps letting the Flaming Lips’ favorite producer David Fridmann return was a good idea. He had a lot of tricks up his sleeve to keep things from getting too maudlin because, like with the Lips, you just wanted to hear what was coming next.

Half Notes is a quick-take music feature on Something Else! Reviews, presented whenever the mood strikes us.

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