Wednesday, January 27, 2010

You Think You Have What You Owe

I can honestly say I wasn't really looking forward to this disc. Don't get me wrong, I've loved Low for pretty much forever. The shift from slow core to something more akin to actual rock around 2001's Things We Lost In the Fire, made me appreciate the band all over again (and Dinosaur Act is a classic). The Great Destroyer is an amazing album. Sparhawk and Co. rocking out is fine with me. However, a cursory listen to the first Retribution Gospel Choir disc didn't really grab me. And then seeing them open for mark kozelek at the varsity a year and a half ago crystallized the notion that RGC was sparhawk's guitar wanking outlet, lots of chord progressions and guitar histrionics, but not a lot of songs. So it was more whim and gift card that made me pick up RGC 2. or maybe it was the cool cover art; cool blue and white stacked up sheets of ice, and clear embossed band name.

Whatever the reason, turned out to be a good buy. Melodies rule the day here (Do I detect some nods to a 70's classic in Hide It Away?), with wanking kept well in hand. The guitars serve the songs, limited to nifty riffs and a few jamming solos, that don't get too carried away. Digging Hide It Away, Poor Man's Daughter and most Low-like tune here; Bless Us All. Even Electric Guitar (all 8 minutes) works for me. Not essential, by any means, but a fun layaway on the next Low disc.


  1. I thought the whole thing sounded kinda like Kansas, so I'm curious to know which '70s classic you mean. I thought the verses of "Hide" sounded a bit like James' "Sing," for some reason.

  2. Oops, sorry, 60's not 70's. Melody line from Something in the Air by Thunderclap Newman. Wasn't "Sing" Travis? (The guitar riff definitely echoes that tune) I don't hear kansas, but even if i did i suspect it would be a less galling reference for me than for others.

  3. I'm actually OK with Kansas, too. And I think I do conflate James and Travis (but not Keane).