I was an obsessive Low fan from the moment I accidentally bought I Could Live in Hope back in 1995. From that point on I bought every album, every EP, every 7”, and got my hands on every compilation appearance. That said, Things We Lost in the Fire was the last album I bought by them. It was good, but I guess I’d finally hit my limit—the band started to resemble a past me. It wasn’t so much the band’s fault as my own personal growth. Certain songs, albums, or bands are indelibly tied to an era in one’s life. Such was Low for me.
I’ve kept up with the band from afar, sort of the way you might google an ex-girlfriend every once in a while. I listened to a few songs from Trust and thought it sounded great—I just couldn’t go there. Then I heard most of The Great Destroyer, which was okay but not great. Now we come to Drums and Guns. The AV Club posted the video for “Breaker,” and Silence is a Rhythm Too has two other mp3s, “Always Fade” and “Hatchet.”
And what the fuck? All three of these songs are terrible. Terrible! I mean, I’m shocked that a band I once loved so much is capable of such awful stuff. It’s not just the drum machine—in fact that might be the least of it. Sparhawk’s vocals are overbearing, particularly on “Breaker.” And the lyrics to “Hatchet” render it unlistenable for me. Ugh, the whole thing is a trainwreck. I’ve been seeing decent reviews for this album; am I missing something?