Dirty Three – Toward The Low Sun (Drag City)
By Scott Creney
Given all the Australian pride around these parts, I figured people would be lining up to write about this record. The second greatest band in Australian history releases their first album in seven years and nobody around here gives a shit? You guys (and girls) do know that all you need to write for CB is the guts to ask, right? [Damn straight - Ed]
It should be a national holiday. Children should be forced to sing (erm … whistle?) Dirty Three songs in school choirs. Postage stamps should be issued featuring the faces of Warren Ellis, Mick Turner, and Jim White (collect all three!). They should be present for the ceremonial coin flip at this week’s Rugby game. Parades and streamers and floats should accompany every release by Dirty Three, no matter how inconsequential.
As it turns out, Toward The Low Sun is not inconsequential. Check out the sick violin of ‘That Was Was’, or the way ‘Ashen Snow’ murders with devastating sweetness.
Dirty Three is made for frantic rain-soaked overnight drives. This album is filled with hopeless regret. The sound of people thinking, it’s as informed by free jazz as it is by rock. So evocative, so sympathetic, it could have been on Impulse Records back in the 60s.
Cinematic doesn’t BEGIN to describe Dirty Three. Hell, this music is better than movies, which at this point are little more than supermodels straining to deliver dialogue they don’t understand. Dirty Three makes a car crash in your heart, an explosion in your mind.
They’re responsible for the greatest Cat Power album (as opposed to the Cat Power album The Greatest), Moon Pix. A collaboration between the D3 and Kylie could realign the universe. A collaboration with Gotye would probably find the singer off bleeding somewhere lying in a ditch. Dirty Three are not a band to be fucked around with.
Fierce and beautiful, stomping and subtle, Dirty Three make some of the most evocative music on the planet. If you want to be immortal, have them play Dirty Three at your funeral.