Toward the Low Sun
Mar 01, 2012 Web Exclusive
Those unfamiliar with the work of the Australian violin/guitar/drum trio could be forgiven for misguided perceptions of what such a gathering might generate. Then again, on their first studio album since 2005's Cinder, the band seems so intent on newly exploring their capabilities that they just might strike a chord with almost any fan of instrumental music.
Toward the Low Sun begins with chaos and works from there. As Warren Ellis' violin meanders and Mick Turner's guitar tosses off random shards on "Furnace Skies," Jim White buckles down for a roiling, driving workout on the drums, seemingly oblivious to his band mates' lack of sweat. Separately, a second, buzzing guitar constantly encircles the proceedings like an electron flying around an atom's nucleus, while a frantic organ chews at the fringes. It's rock with a jazz heart or, just as easily, vice versa.
It's not hard to imagine these guys having played together for 20 years, as they deftly and convincingly veer from one direction to another. They settle into a sweet country-folk lope for "Moon on the Land" and barely rise above a whisper on "Rain Song," but the needle suddenly flips into the red for the full-on rock of "That Was Was." And it all sounds Dirty. (www.anchorandhope.com)
Author rating: 7/10
Average reader rating: 8/10