On 2005’s The Great Destroyer, Minnesota’s Low made a dramatic break from the slowcore sound the trio had helped pioneer in the mid ’90s, finally luxuriating in the fuzzy guitar roar they’d always renounced. The band’s eighth studio full-length finds frontman Alan Sparhawk and his mates circling back to their stripped-down roots, but this is no retrenchment. As in the old days, the music is virtually guitar-less, built instead around bass and digitally tweaked beats and the eerie harmony vocals of Sparhawk and his wife, drummer Mimi Parker; it’s almost as if the departure of long-time bassist Zak Sally following Destroyer’s tour had led Sparhawk and Parker to rediscover the significance of the band’s bottom end. On such early Low records as I Could Live in Hope, that studied minimalism worked as a response to grunge’s primal scream, but here the material has the swagger and toughness of loud, sloppy rock. The result is an interrogation of musical force, scary and beautiful in equal measure.
Low + Loney, Dear | Somerville Theatre, 55 Davis Square, Somerville | April 7 | 617.931.2000