by Jamie Robash
photo by Shelly Mosman
It took some time and quite a few records, but by this point in their career the veteran Duluth, Minnesota trio Low — consistently helmed by the husband and wife team of Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker — seem to have finally escaped the “slowcore” label they were slapped with in their early days yet left by the roadside some years ago. Beginning with a Dylan-esque transformation from haunting, slow-tempo acoustic songs to brash and obtrusive electric tunes on 2005’s The Great Destroyer, Low have consistently sharpened their hatchet blade of rock to take on more drone and fuzz with each consecutive record (to the point where Sparhawk’s guitar at times sounds like it’s being strummed by helicopter blades.) What has remained constant is Sparhawk’s mournful moan and politically charged lyricism, as has Parker’s angelic falsetto which lends spare glimmers of hope to their sound from time to time. Their most recent album, last year’s Double Negative, is their loudest record yet.