Music » Livewire

Low

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Even the best bands -- and Low is one of the most engrossing of the past decade -- indulge in the occasional harebrained scheme. The Minnesota trio's new EP, Tonight the Monkeys Die, farms out "Monkey," from last year's uncharacteristically accessible The Great Destroyer, for remix by five artists, including indie celebs Stephin Merritt and Bob Mould. The results are all tacky, save for the interpretation by Fog, which stirs in jangle and moog, adding melody to the incantational original.

But cut them some slack. Singing spouses Alan Sparhawk (painterly guitar) and Mimi Parker (supple drums), along with bassist Zak Sally, are otherwise at the peak of their craft. The Great Destroyer marked their turn away from the wintry atmospherics that landed them at the vanguard of the hilariously named slowcore movement, striking a tuneful new vein that's more diverse and direct than any of their previous work. Would-be remixers should find something else to futz with.

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