Review: “Toward The Low Sun” by Dirty Three


All the post rock bands that exist will never come close to the power and creative peaks of Dirty Three. Quite simply, what the Dirty Three offer the world is incredibly unique whereas all the post rock bands tend to deal in obvious templates of dull dwindles into predictable explosions and annoying Jonsi vocals. Unless you are ISIS I really don’t care too much for that post rock “sound” – it is all a little bit too scientific for me, Dream Theatre for Hipsters.

“Toward The Low Sun” has been a long time coming and for the band to still be pushing boundaries this far into their career is so inspiring. The album is full of minimal explosions of noise and as always is driven by the real secret weapon of Dirty Three, the drumming of Jim White. When I think of the perfect drummer Jim White is usually the first person to come to mind. His approach is so spacious and emotional in that free jazz tradition and really is the heartbeat of the Dirty Three sound. So much of the music on “Toward The Low Sun” is powered and given the space to express itself courtesy of Jim White’s drumming.

The Obvious star is Warren Ellis who gives us some new instrumental expressions on this album. His amazing and aching violin passages are still front and centre but we also get a wide array of different pianos and various stringed instruments favoured over the traditional Violin, Guitar and Drums sound of the band. This is all tied together with the subtle fret work of Mick Turner who as always sails in between the noise to give the song even more emotional context.

A lot of the post rock and instrumental bands who exist in the indie universe always play like an instrumental band which is their greatest mistake. Dirty Three never did this; they always played like a rock n roll band and like a great rock n roll band they show moments of discipline, looseness but also they never forget to communicate maximum emotion with their music. These aren’t pointless collisions of sound that Dirty Three have created, these are real songs with stories and aches and emotions pumping behind them.

Dirty Three make beautiful music and in this ugly landscape of scientifically altered music, it is nice to hear a band still be so expressive yet so spacious.

“Toward The Low Sun” is a demonstration in perfection

10 cassette tapes out of 10


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