September 23, 2008

Low: "Songs For A Dead Pilot".

Here's a classic, if you could call it such; my very first review. Enjoy.

One can't help but think "death-cult" when one sees or hears Low for the first time...their music is the kind that trails along behind rainy funeral processions, or lonely and suicidal societal rejects taking their last breaths; the kind of thing one hears in detached and segmented images from a dream; yet, the ethereal harmonies manage to interrelate with one's personal sense of nostalgia, allowing each song a warm, sentimental attachment to its listener, in whatever way they choose to assimilate those feelings. Low pushes slowcore to its sardonic extreme in their extended-play masterpiece, Songs for a Dead Pilot.

The delicate, breathy ambience of the first three minutes of this stunning, and haunting, EP take you to a place altogether otherworldy, yet absolutely finite and somewhat confined. You may find yourself sitting right next to Alan in "Condescend" as he clumsily strums his bland, trebly guitar to the syncopated tap of Mimi's snare head, but you will definitely find yourself in shocked silence at the power behind such a soft, yet nonetheless emotive, voice as Mimi anti-belts out those beautifully depressing lyrics - "To a point, you will fail/So I condescend". Next is over nine minutes of Alan's two-chorded nightmare ballad, "Born By The Wires", followed by the eerie organ-saturated drone, "Be There", featuring the amazing harmonizing voices of Alan and Mimi. "Landlord" will have you thinking the end of the world came and you somehow managed to sleep right through it...it's also one of the only songs where I consider Zak an actual member of the band; and who can forget, the chillingly gorgeous outro "Hey Chicago", where the band somehow manages to speak to the city they owe their credibility to as a friend on the street, or a stranger on the bus...one who needs cheering, of course, since Low is so good at lifting those rainy-day blues. You can always count on Low to make a good thing...and make it slower.
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