BEING THERE: Low @ Underground Arts

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With the perfect certainty of a heavy ocean wave crashing upon the shore, Low is a force of nature. That wave may start off small, might eat you up and crash you into the rocks or it may lift you higher into the suns rays. Although they still rock the slowcore vibe which they were only loosely associated with, Low now also has this sort of “I-don’t-know-but-whatever-it-is-I-like-it-core” vibe in that each album wiggles around different genres while still maintaining their strange and peaceful aesthetic. When they first started getting a bit more poppy I suppose I just wasn’t ready, but looking back and giving albums like The Great Destroyer a fresh listen I’m finally feeling where they were going with their ocean of sound. “Dancing in Blood” started with the intro playing on what I assumed was some sort of laptop or keyboard but in fact it was all coming from bass player Steve Garrington’s vast array of effect pedals. I love the way Low start songs with subtle attacks from a quiet discordant pluck of a string to a weird combination of delay pedals and pitch shifters soon to be layered with two distinctly different vocal harmonies as they move from sweet quiet melodic tunes to deep dark heavy ballads and never lose the flow. Last night at Underground Arts Low was perfect, their dark yet warm sound leaving me oddly hopeful about the long winter that is to come. — MARK LIKOSKY