Review: If This Is a Man – Random Acts of Kindness Have Saved Lives

A somber reel of psychedelic guitar strings is cast into the pond of the soul. Tiny ripples break the surface and cascade outward, sending a solemn vibration to the senses. The sound waves lure positive organisms to the air and repel all negativity, creating a submerged cocoon of safety.

If This Is a Man are giving new definition to the word slowcore. They learned from the masters like Low and Red House Painters and added shoegaze influences to send us down a swirling vortex of beautiful sound. Subtle echos and kaleidoscopic guitar manipulations flutter about the brain, breaking the emotional dams we have built for ourselves. The vocals are soothing and consolatory but at times they become obtrusive and too present. When this happens a barrier is put between the mind and the music and you do not get the full experience.

Random Acts of Kindness Have Saved Lives
. The title is very fitting. This album is a bandage for the broken heart, a blanket for a frozen body. Listen to this when your soul is ready to scream and give up and somewhere among the guitar strums and piano strikes you will find the strength to keep going.

Standout Track: Nostalgic
Rating: 4 stars


Review: Low – C’mon

Label: Sub Pop
Catalog No: SP905

Low have always been a band for the moper in all of us. Their depressing lyrics and slowcore music style have always been a welcome friend on those dark and lonely nights. After the political statements and alienation of Drums and Guns, it seemed as if they collapsed into a dark and heavy abyss, never to return to our world again.

This was the case for four years until C’mon emerged from the thawing lakeside city of Duluth. A shimmer of optimism gleams from their ninth album. Melancholy stills hangs overhead though its bleakness is nowhere near as asphyxiating. It provides a small message to all of us hiding under our beds, afraid of the big bad world. This is Low telling us to make our appearance known and join the fight towards making the world better for all. It will be an arduous task full of setbacks and heartache, but we must strive forth. Never give up until you are happy and everyone else around you is just as happy.

As the title suggests, come on. It’s about time we finally do.

Standout track: Majesty / Magic
Rating: 4.5 stars