Rough Trade - 2005 - 51 minutes

It once seemed inconceivable that Low would ever betray their name, but on 'The Great Destroyer', which continues their series of fine albums, it's intriguing to hear new possibilities open up. Whereas the only other movement that previous Low records seemed to allow was military marching at a state funeral, 'The Great Destroyer' lends itself to long walks, preferably at night.

Working with producer Dave Fridmann (Mogwai, Mercury Rev), Low have turned up the volume, boosted their energy and explored various styles. Their grinding heartache remains intact but 'California' balances its cloudy lyrics with bright guitars and there are paths to be traced to the likes of Neil Young, Sixties harmonies and Americana.

Consistently strong and occasionally excellent, 'The Great Destroyer' has all the sounds of a band at the crossroads. Low's next move should prove very interesting indeed.

Harry Guerin

Tracklisting: Monkey - California - Everybody's Song - Silver Rider - Just Stand Back - On the Edge Of - Cue the Strings - Step - When I Go Deaf - Broadway (So Many People) - Pissing - Death of a Salesman - Walk Into the