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Alan Sparhawk started the soft and slow band Low back in 1993. Low's sound was minimal and quiet, and included harmonized vocals between Sparhawk and his wife, Mimi Parker. Now, Sparhawk is fronting another group: Retribution Gospel Choir. This isn't your average side-project. If anything, Retribution Gospel Choir is Low's polar opposite.
The Choir's sound is upbeat, loud and heavy. Sparkhawk's voice is energized to a point of ragged urgency, and it soars over heavily distorted guitar work, pounding bass and epic drum fills. Lines like "I'm working hard / but it's not working so far" give you a clue of where the band is coming from, and its traditional guitar-bass-drums lineup sounds just right.
After Sparhawk and company chat with David Dye in the studio, you can hear the Retribution Gospel Choir tear through songs from its new album, 2, in front of an audience at the World Cafe Live.