Boomkat Product Review:
Billed in the most ruthlessly functional manner imaginable, 2 is the second album from the Low side-project, Retribution Gospel Choir. Having debuted on Mark Kozelek's Caldo Verde label in 2008, the group saw the joining forces of Low members Alan Sparhawk and Steve Garrington with drummer Eric Pollard. All but entirely shunning its parent band's slow-core infamy, Retribution Gospel Choir provides a welcome vent for Sparhawk's more audaciously rock-oriented instincts. Introductory piece 'Hide It Away' reinforces this with its noisy palette and surprisingly bold choruses while 'Your Bird' makes for an even brasher use of three minutes . Over the course of the record it's as if Sparhawk is wondering what might have been had he opted for a different, more unabashedly commercial direction with his music earlier on. 'Workin' Hard' sounds winningly like prime period Kiss, and further to that the Low frontman even indulges in his fantasy E Street Band ('White Wolf') and Crazy Horse ('Poor Man's Daughter') moments, revelling in them throughout. Though by no measure lacking in substance, this is quintessentially a fun record. Perhaps most telling of this is '68 Comeback', a going-nowhere forty-three second blast of Sparhawk wailing out through an octave pedal and a tirade of fuzz. It's as if he's guiltily trying to exorcise the rock & roll from his system. Don't fight it, Alan.