Monday, August 3, 2009

8/5: The Low Anthem at Grog Shop

Posted By on Mon, Aug 3, 2009 at 8:00 AM

The Low Anthem are a less kind, less gentle Fleet Foxes. Or maybe a rowdier Bon Iver. On their second album, Oh My God, Charlie Darwin, the Rhode Island trio stray from their dusty Americana trail from time to time, stopping for drunken singalongs and wall-rattling rave-ups. Like the Foxes’ and Iver’s breakthroughs from last year, Charlie Darwin is a late-night meditation on solitary rural life. Acoustic guitars, harmonicas and whispered vocals drift through many of the songs. The opening one-two punch of “Charlie Darwin” and “To Ohio” barely rouses the band from its sleepy fog. But by the time they get around to “The Horizon Is a Beltway,” they’re unleashing a boisterous stomp that sounds like Tom Waits fronting the Pogues. The Low Anthem are certainly more varied and adventurous than many of their indie-roots peers. A cover of Waits’ “Home I’ll Never Be” nods to an obvious inspiration, but it’s songs like “Champion Angel” — the ones that push Bon Iver’s cabin fever toward a bit more aggressive direction — that drive Charlie Darwin’s evolution. The Low Anthem play the Grog Shop (2785 Euclid Heights Blvd, 216.321.5588) at 8 p.m. with Joe Pug, Oldboy and April Smith. Tickets: $10. — Michael Gallucci

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