Saturday, 13 April 2013

Low Duo - Dive and Slide Into the Blue

Album review by

Sheffield brothers Low Duo have given us a list of interesting facts about them and their debut album, amongst these are the usual clips of press praise and noteworthy support slots, but it's most notable that they end this stream of info about the record by saying "either way, it's dark". Just how dark exactly? Well it's not dark in the way that Cradle Of Filth are dark, or in the way that Grinderman are dark, or in the way that Jedward are dark. The songs are often fairly sprightly, especially considering their minimalist construction; there's not much other than guitar, piano and voice on the whole thing.

What makes 'Dive and Slide Into the Blue' dark is its subject matter; this is a record about "putting yourself back together again". This applies to both members of the band, who both experienced traumatic events in their life, namely a messy relationship break-up and, um, breaking your thumb respectively. "We'll keep crying until we can't cry any more" runs the albums most desolate track, 'Eagle', with that skeletal backing leaving the lyrics open and vulnerable. It does indeed sound like a few demons were exorcised in the making of this album, and maybe it has been enough to fix both heart and thumb.

Technically this is an acoustic record, although it feels more like grunge or garage-rock, such is the biting guitar of songs like 'Born Into A Spider' and 'Bloodhound'. If you are concerned about the sparseness of the songs here, then you'll find more relief in in the surprisingly substantial highlight 'Keep Your Sparkle In The Pain'. The excellent 'Circus Blues' is another worth picking out, feeling stylistically more eclectic, and comparatively lush at some points. Whatever your tastes, it's still difficult to argue against the more tender 'Doubts' or the intriguing 'Interlude: Igloo'. It's unlikely that Low Duo are planning a follow-up just yet, but should they ever suffer from writer's block, we know a bloke with a crowbar who we can send round.

Low Duo's website

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