Low, Gaberdine | Lincoln Hall | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Low, Gaberdine Member Picks Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Recommended Critics' Picks

When: Thu., April 21, 9 p.m. 2011

Low have never directly addressed America's current wars in their music, but the noise-scoured songs and struggling spirit of their two previous albums, The Great Destroyer and Drums and Guns, reflect the creeping violence and moral quandaries of life during wartime. The new C'mon (Sub Pop) is all about picking up the pieces and carrying on, whether the strife's really over or not—they even seem to be walking away from their fight to upend their sound, returning to the familiar slow and sparse Low style. On "Done," guitarist Alan Sparhawk sings as a man who's still wandering in the desert but ready to come home. On "Witches" he wants to swing a baseball bat at everything that dogs him, but his own kids cheer him when he makes his peace. The songs sung by drummer Mimi Parker (Sparhawk's wife) imagine a path out of turmoil without shortchanging the painful conflict that persists; on "Especially Me," tears of heartbreak help bring a couple together again, but the longing for reconnection isn't more important than telling the truth. The sonic experimentation of Low's previous efforts has been replaced by a renewed focus on one of the band's core virtues: Sparhawk and Parker's gorgeous harmonies. C'mon was recorded in a century-old cathedral, and the couple's voices sound big enough to fill it all by themselves. —Bill Meyer

Price: $18, $15 in advance

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