Low – Ones and Sixes
Feel that? It’s floating in between the aeons that pass between chords. It’s the haunting harmonies that shiver from the lips of Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker. It tingles, chills and soothes in equal measure. It’s the essence of Duluth veterans Low, and it remains a truly remarkable force.
Ones and Sixes weaves together the strongest elements of their 22-year career – from slowcore sparseness to wiry post-punk to glorious sadrock – and while the results feel as mournfully doom-laden as ever, they still tingle the spine like no-one else. Lies is beautiful and bruising, while the softly menacing Gentle takes a solid pummelling from gargantuan drum hits.
Then there’s No Comprende, a skeletal murmur built on hissing mechanistic beats and muted guitar chugs – suddenly, everything drops to an aching crawl, while their ever-allusive (never explicit) lyrics draw on sentiments of poignancy, dischord and loss. Never rushed, never cheery; simply masters of their craft. [Will Fitzpatrick]