Dirty Three
Toward The Low Sun


4.0
excellent

Review

by Eli STAFF
March 15th, 2012 | 72 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Not only do we get another Dirty Three album after a seven year drought, but we are treated to one of the most incredible recordings of their career.

It’s been seven long years since post-rock legends, Dirty Three, have released a full-length studio album. In said time gap, the trio has done some collaborative work with artists such as Grinderman and Nick Cave, as well as performed live with their typical fervent energy. Lovely asides these have been, sure, but after the experimental journey that was 2005’s Cinder, fans have been yearning for a true album worthy to wear the band’s prestigious name. Enter Toward the Low Sun, an album that deftly earns the right to sit alongside Dirty Three’s classic Ocean Songs and Horse Stories.

Toward the Low Sun was not the typical “deliberately planned” studio album. After taking some time off, the band reconvened for a string of shows, only to realize the palpable energy present during their performances could easily be captured. Instead of working towards crafting their eighth full length, they decided to jump in with both feet to see where it took them. This certainly explains the very “stumbled upon” feel found in Toward the Low Sun. Dirty Three, as usual, forgo clearly defined song structures and instead opt for something much more organic. This time, though, the compositions seem even more formless, even more undefined. And frankly, the album is all the better for it.

Warren Ellis, Mike Turner, and Jim White’s scintillating paradigm is as perfect as always, with Ellis in particular stealing the show once more. Ellis’ vibrant and evocative violin work has consistently been a central sound in regards to Dirty Three’s work, and is still immaculate in its blissful and deceptive simplicity. The perfectly composed violin lines do not get by on themselves, however, as Turner and White create a wonderful back drop for the band’s music. White’s precise drumming is impressive on its own merits, but when paired with the soundscapes, he displays a keen sense of his musical surroundings. Together, the band emits a sound more confident and captivating than that of post-rock bands more than twice their size; an impressive feat indeed.

With Dirty Three’s eighth studio album, one would expect a bid of re-treading to occur. And while it’s easy to pick out obvious nods to their older material, the band has done quite a lot to expand their musical horizons, nearly 20 years into their career. Towards the Low Sun is much less experimental than Cinder in a sense that it doesn’t feature the same wild energy and large array of instruments, but at the same time feels much more exploratory. The nine songs contained within the album sound much more free-form than a lot of the bands past material, seeming almost spontaneous even. “That Was Was” and “Moon on the Land” meander about in a dazed fashion, but the end result is absolutely beautiful. However, when the band fires all cylinders with a fully constructed song-as with “The Pier” and “Rising Below”- one is treated to some of the most ingenious instrumental rock in years.

Toward the Low Sun, like all Dirty Three records, is phenomenally refreshing in its beauty, poise, and ingenuity. The band has been a constant force in the genre, continuously displaying what arises from the combined passions and creativity of people who simply love to make music. Dirty Three have crafted another stellar album, proving once again why they deserve their legendary status.



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user ratings (36)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
March 14th 2012


10676 Comments


Best post-rock of this year, and frankly probably last year as well.

Digging: Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta III - Saturnian Poetry

pizzamachine
March 14th 2012


12572 Comments


I need post-rock in my life. Good review Xeno, I give it one whoop whoop. ;)

Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
March 15th 2012


10676 Comments


Thanks Pizza! I think this would be a good album to "get more post-rock into your life," actually.


WHOOP WHOOP

Manic_
March 15th 2012


447 Comments


Finally some post-rock I can actually enjoy. Glad these guys are still consistent with quality.

Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
March 15th 2012


10676 Comments


Couldn't stand that weird gap at the top of the review. Phew it's gone

TITSandGORE
March 15th 2012


47 Comments


Nice review. Made me want to check this out although I'm not too acquainted with much instrumental rock.

WeepingBanana
March 15th 2012


10222 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Dirty Three rule

this is no exception

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
March 15th 2012


4459 Comments


Well written review.
and of course, classy (if you get the Office reference).
have a pos

Spare
March 15th 2012


5451 Comments


wtf i didn't know there was a new dirty three record. these guys just came to my town but i skipped seein em to save money for bomb the music industry. don't regret it. nice of em to come here though, no bands do. anyway i'm gettin this

Digging: Forth Wanderers - Tough Love

Butkuiss
March 15th 2012


4253 Comments


Ocean Songs is amazing. May have to pick this up.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
March 15th 2012


24110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hmmm sounds like i need this.

Digging: Mitski - bury me at makeout creek

Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
March 15th 2012


10676 Comments


I honestly think you'd like it

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
March 15th 2012


24110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah i was actually about to ask you for some recent postrawk recs but then i realized i cant really download right now. but when i can ill need some recs.

Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
March 15th 2012


10676 Comments


Well tbh this is the first notable release in 2012 but I've got some from late or mid 2011 that you may enjoy if you ever want them

Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
March 15th 2012


10676 Comments


But for cereal I hope this gets more attention, 6 votes is far too low : [

TheSpirit
March 15th 2012


18003 Comments


Great review, I willl definitely check this out. I love post-rock but scarcely listen to it for some reason.

Digging: The Speed of Sound in Seawater - Red Version

TheSpirit
March 15th 2012


18003 Comments


Have you listened to Charts and Maps - Dead Horse btw? I obviously don't know how good this is (yet) but I would bet that it was a contender for best (and most underrated) post rock album of last year.

Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
March 15th 2012


10676 Comments


No I have not but I will per your reccomendation. Idk though, Riding Alone For Thousands of Miles was definitely the most underrated post-rock of last year IMO, but I haven't yet heard the one you're speaking of.

TheSpirit
March 15th 2012


18003 Comments


There is a fair bit of jazz influence thrown into it so I wouldn't say it's your typical build-up/crescendo post-rock, something that made it much more memorable for me. Can't wait to hear this though, would be happy if this this turns out better than Dead Horse.

Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
March 15th 2012


10676 Comments


It's incredibly dark, and very slow and deliberate. It kind reminds me of GY!BE. And one of the songs has my name in it



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