VIDEO REVIEW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbDJAlIaLqg
One thing I miss about being a young nerd getting into music for the first time was the mystery and magic behind the process of actually making an album. Even as a somewhat experienced musician, recording, mixing, and mastering is still a pretty mysterious process, but for the most part I'm usually able to nail down the general gist of how a record was put together when I listen to it.
Low's new album HEY WHAT brings all that mystery back to me. I seriously have no fucking clue how you'd go about making music like this. Are these guitars? Is it all just studio fuckery and synths? How do you compose choral music over noise this heavy? Only a band with decades of experience in the studio could figure this shit out. Or maybe God told them how to do it because they're Mormon, I'm not sure.
Aside from the breathtaking sonic experience this album provides, this music is actually really good too. Like it's one thing to be innovative and avant-garde but it's an entirely different beast to contain that avant-garde messiness and consolidate it into cohesive music that is truly enjoyable to listen to. Well fortunately for us, Low NAILS IT. Their post-industrial wall of sound doesn't just drone on aimlessly; it pulsates, crescendoes, dissolves, and it takes you on a whole freaking journey that leaves me in awe. It's so hard to work with noise in my experience in a way that doesn't get sloppy and tiring, but somehow they do it. Not only that but they somehow compose beautiful choral arrangements on top of it, not as like an extra texture here or there but straight up powerful melodies that really drive the entire songs.
Another thing this album nails is the flow from start to finish. This isn't just some post-industrial blah that exists for 46 minutes. Sometimes it's cold and empty, sometimes it's bright and punchy, sometimes it's absolutely gorgeous, sometimes it might even hurt your ears. The transition from Hey to Days Like These is particularly stunning, but really all these tracks transition into each other brilliantly. Not only were they able to manipulate this post-industrial madness into contained songs, but they somehow managed it into a full blown cohesive album as well.
I really can't believe this shit. Low may be best known for their slowcore output of the 90's and 00's, but this new stuff is unlike anything else I've ever heard before and equally as amazing.