Low + Dirty Three, In the Fishtank 7 [Konkurrent]
from the Brain Volume IV Issue 19, 20 May 2001
My first impressions were "there's no suprises here." Take two of my favorite bands and combine their elements: mesh the shuffling drums of Jim White, sparse guitar work of Mick Turner and gentle violin of and combine that with the wonderful harmonies and obscure references from Low, the world's premiere songwriters/singers and hear two great entities together. But upon deeper subsequent listenings, the whole is, in actuality, more than the sum of its parts. Recorded in Holland, in between performances and airport arrivals this edition of the "In the Fishtank" series is once again about a half hour of bands taking a break from their regular schtick to do something they enjoy doing. The EP on the chopping block encompasses the finer elements of both groups and brings them to a different level. It's strange how a trio of Australians make a trio of US Americans sound more in touch with their American heritage while vocals and harmonies gracefully compliment an already impressive canvas the Australian trio have been painting for years. Included here are six tunes, including a haunting cover of Neil Young's "Down By the River," sung by Mimi Parker and completely unrecognizable until she begins singing, approximately five-minutes into the track. With this, neither band are gonna win new fans, die-hards will buy this no matter what they hear, so my message is to those fair-weather listeners: this is good for you and won't disappoint you like the Tortoise/The Ex EP from the same series.
- Jon Whitney