Ones and Sixes – Low

Duluth-based slowcore band Low showcase their latest offering with their new full-length studio album ‘Ones and Sixes’. Following on from 2013’s release of ‘The Invisible Way’, the new album sees Low almost returning to their roots of dark and unsettling alternative rock for the most part, where ghostly harmonies push through the album, accompanied by an almost hollow selection of instrumentals. ‘Ones and Sixes’ demonstrates much of Low’s new sounding repertoire, showcasing a little louder volume in places, as well as a few experimental ideas here and there just to mix things up. In some respects, ‘Ones and Sixes’ feels somewhat weaker to its predecessor, though it also comes across as an entirely different beast all together.

‘Ones and Sixes’ sees Low delving deep into something that for the most part sounds dark and sinister, utilizing couple Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker’s chilling vocal harmonies to incredible effect. Though mostly dark, there’s a few lighter moments thrown into the mix, giving the album a nice level of diversity. It seems Low have gone to great lengths to really push out a cohesive album experience, one where each track compliments each other, all resulting in something that really works and highlights the best of everyone’s abilities. Many of the tracks work well, contributing to what comes across as one of Low’s strongest albums.

There’s a lot more experimentation present on ‘Ones and Sixes’ than on most of Low’s previous albums, showcasing the band as one whose always trying new things. Whilst most of the efforts work very nicely, it seems a few ideas here and there come across as rather sluggish, failing to really liven up the album in any way or form and instead slowing the whole experience down somewhat. There’s many strengths to the album, but certain elements just don’t seem to work all that well, with a few tracks coming across as regretfully forgettable.

Although a few tracks fail to live up to the level the album sets for itself, ‘Ones and Sixes’ is another welcome offering from Low. With each and every album, Low seem to be treading newer and more interesting territories, taking a few little risks here and there and hoping for the best. Regardless of whether they work or not, they make the whole thing feel exciting, and make themselves so much more exciting as well, as we all constantly wonder what are Low going to do next? ‘Ones and Sixes’ may be a little dark and unsettling in a few places, and oddly quaint and upbeat in others, but it’s definitely a strong offering from the hard-working band who definitely aren’t afraid to try new things.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★★☆ 4/5

Selected Songs:

  • No Comprende
  • Spanish Translation
  • Lies
  • Landslide

Low’s latest album ‘Ones and Sixes’ is out now on Subpop. 

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Categories: Albums, Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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