Retribution Gospel Choir - Captain's Rest, Glasgow, Mon 11 May (4 stars)

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Retribution Gospel Choir - Captain's Rest, Glasgow, Mon 11 May

Photograph: David de Young - www.flickr.com/howwastheshow/

Featuring members from legendary minimalists Low, including guitarist and lead singer Alan Sparhawk, Retribution Gospel Choir take to Glasgow's Captain's Rest as part of jaunt across Europe in light of the release of their debut, self-titled full-length last year. Demonstrating a whole new level of noise when placed alongside his previous efforts, Alan Sparkhawk's voice is pretty much perfect tonight, accompanied by beautiful harmonies, and backed by swaggering rock-outs. At times brooding and haunting, as many would come to expect, particularly in the swaying, 'Poor Man's Daughter', but boosted by intensely passionate and sweaty performances by all three members, there is something accessible yet affecting about this show - which is amplified by the rousing response from this comfortably rammed-out basement crowd.

Songs like 'For Her Blood' and 'What She Turned Into' somehow capture that whole early 90's era of 'alternative' rock, when pop songs were heavier - which is fitting as Low were as much a part of that 'scene' as anyone else - but avoid sounding like revivalism in any way. In fact, these songs and this entire performance sounds remarkably fresh and makes you wonder what really happened to the art of the 'melodic rock song' after all these years.

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