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coverpic flag US - Minnesota - Full Moon 164 - 01/30/10

Retribution Gospel Choir
Sub Pop Records / Tuba!

Retribution Gospel Choir is an American rock trio featuring Steve Garrington and Alan Sparhawk from Low, and Eric Pollard. And a fun fact, recording to the bio, they probably are the most fit rock band today, all members being former athletes. "2" is Retribution Gospel Choirs second album, their first on SubPop. And they actually sounds very much alike what SubPop bands used to sound like. Back in the good old nineties.

Even if the naming says otherwise Retribution Gospel Choir definitely sounds much more like rough rock than your typical neighbourhood gospel choir. Still, they draw heavily upon the legacy from the early gothic Americana scene, both in lyrics and theme, as well as post-(grunge)rock and slowcore. So maybe there could be said to be some gospel there after all.

"2" opens with the melancholy charming "Hide it a Way" that, like so many of the other tracks on this album, starts out slow in somewhat known rock soundscapes and ending in fast and loud psychedelic directions. But few tracks does this turn as well as this opener, "Something's Gonna Break" that is both disturbing and mesmerizing the whole song through, with the sound so insistingly low-tuned that when it breaks into delightful noise it's almost a relief. And, of course the longest song on this album, that for the most part are made of two and half minute tunes, "Electric Guitar" which of course tributes it's title with heavy and tight use of just that.

And with a closer as "Bless you all" that draws this low/slow/psycho pattern to a sacral, almost Spiritualized level "2" is close to being perfect. But, and sadly there is a minor but, in the middle of the album the pattern is less noticeable, and on the grungy "Working Hard" all gone. And that makes the song, that actually isn't a bad song in it self, but in so good company as this, it just sounds like it is working hard about two decades too late. But then again, this is just beauty marks.

Retribution Gospel Choirs has with "2" delivered a lovely piece rock music.

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