Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Album Review: Low – Long Division

Low’s second album, released in 1995, reinforces the minimalist Low template set out in their debut. The songs here are very sparse, very one-paced and mostly very hushed. If anything it’s less varied than their debut, and generally slower.

Violence kicks things off at glacial pace, showcasing clean, ringing guitars and the clear, crisp harmonies of Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker, setting the tone for the rest of the album. Shame has an alluring melody to it, sung by Parker.

An early highlight is Throw Out The Line, entirely built on these aforementioned harmonies with the sparsest of guitars and drums backing it up. Turn is less melodic, based on Zak Sally’s bass strums, and it builds and builds, never quite reaching a climax. The remainder of the album continues in the vein of what went before, varying little from the ‘template’.

It’s far away from latter period Low, with no noisy bits to break it up. Definitely not an immediate album, more of a grower.