Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Album Review - Retribution Gospel Choir

Retribution Gosepl Choir – Restribution Gospel Choir
Caldo Verde Records; 18/03/2008]

With the help of long term friend and Sun Kil Moon brainchild, Mark Kozelek, Low frontman Alan Sparhawk has finally let his side-project, the Retribution Gospel Choir, see the light of day. With the album produced by the former, this project enables Sparkhawk to up the tempo just that little bit more than he usually would, and the self-titled debut is certainly a shift in gear from the slow sounds of Low.

'Take Your Time' and 'Breaker' are both re-recorded Low numbers with a little more edge and an in-your-face tempo, while album highlight 'Sombody's Someone' could have been a highlight on The Great Destroyer, with heavy bass lines and Sparhawk's trademark melodies the two highlights. Sadly, the latter is the only piece that could transcend above Low's work and although it's not a competition or comparison game between the two respective projects, as a listener, you find yourself in this telling predicament.

Although a little more vicious in sound, Retribution Gospel Choir is an adequate release that will please some, with Sparhawk finally getting to front a 'rock band', of sorts. Despite Sparhawk's voice been accompanied by a standard drumkit this time around, things still seem to fall short of those darker qualities of Sparkhawk's work on The Great Destroyer, that - in comparison - seem harsher in terms of sound and certainly more aloof underneath the surface.

By Simon K

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