Editors' pick

Retribution Gospel Choir

Rock
'

Editorial Review

It's always confused us when an artist tackles a side project only to make music that sounds like his more famous band. So we salute Alan Sparhawk for having the right idea. He's most famous for his work with Low, whose slow-as-molasses, minimally arranged music has probably helped many insomniacs fall asleep over the past decade and a half. Retribution Gospel Choir isn't exactly the polar opposite of Low -- that would be some especially hyperactive brand of happy house -- but it's definitely not something you'd put on to help induce slumber. Sparhawk treats RGC as a sort of power trio and creates songs that twist and turn and usually end up as extended psychedelic jams. At the Rock and Roll Hotel, you may want to close your eyes just to zone out, not zonk out.

--David Malitz (Jan. 2010)