michael gallucci

REVIEW — THE LOW ANTHEM: OH MY GOD, CHARLIE DARWIN

In Uncategorized on 07/09/2009 at 3:54 am

The Low Anthem

Oh My God, Charlie Darwin

(Nonesuch)


The Low Anthem are a less kind, less gentler Fleet Foxes. Or maybe a rowdier Bon Iver. On its second album, the Rhode Island trio strays from its dusty Americana trail from time to time, stopping for drunken singalongs and relatively wall-rattling rave-ups. Like the Foxes’ and Iver’s breakthroughs from last year, Oh My God, Charlie Darwin is a late-night meditation on solitary rural life. Acoustic guitars, harmonicas and whispered vocals drift through many of the songs. The opening one-two punch of “Charlie Darwin” and “To Ohio” barely rouses the band from its sleepy fog. But by the time they get around to “The Horizon Is a Beltway,” they’re unleashing a boisterous stomp that sounds like Tom Waits fronting the Pogues. The Low Anthem are certainly more varied and adventurous than many of their indie-roots peers. A cover of Waits’ “Home I’ll Never Be” nods to an obvious inspiration, but it’s songs like “Champion Angel” — the ones that push Bon Iver’s cabin fever toward a bit more aggressive direction – that drive Charlie Darwin’s evolution. –Michael Gallucci

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