Low

Bombscare

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Bombscare is an extraordinarily lush, poignant collaboration between quiet rockers Low and experimental electronic duo Spring Heel Jack. Spring Heel Jack provides the musical collage as a background for the harmonies and solo vocals of Low's Mimi Parker and Alan Sparhawk. Spring Heel Jack's production creates an icy cathedral of sound that's unlike anything since Martin Hannett's work on Joy Division's "Atmosphere." The EP's four songs are easily the most interesting in Low's discography. "Bombscare" bleeds mood, space, and texture as sounds ring out and echo into the distance. "Hand So Small" works like a literate lullaby as musical flourishes appear from thin air, a piano haunts the outskirts of the song, and Sparhawk and Parker take turns singing about life "getting smaller." "So Easy (So Far)" is perhaps the most traditional Low song, but Spring Heel Jack manages to make the band sound like they're singing modern day Brothers Grimm tales. "Way Behind" is a stunning closer. It's a truly exhilarating song that sounds like it was recorded in heaven, as Parker and Sparhawk again take turns singing angelically that they've left someone "way behind" over a jazzy electronic stew full of subtle found-sounds. Bombscare hints at the musical turn Spring Heel Jack would take on Masses and presents Low at the absolute peak of their powers. It's too bad the collaborators didn't compile an entire album's worth of material, as these 16 minutes seem magically fleeting. Bombscare couldn't be a more superb collaboration between these innovative artists.

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