Low A Lifetime of Temporary Relief

Low A Lifetime of Temporary Relief
An exhausting encapsulation of the last ten years of b-sides, rarities and videos, this is a definitive collection for all Low fans to have. From the first bedroom recording to include Mimi Parker’s achingly beautiful voice, to rare covers, to the visually stunning video for "Words,” this box set will satiate the ever-suffering Low fan tired of tracking down out-of-print EPs and lacklustre compilations. Of course, for the fair-weather Low fan, three CDs and a DVD is lot to digest, but some of the tracks here demand attention and their rescue from obscurity makes this entire endeavour worth it. The could-have-been-a-hit "Those Girls (Song for Nico),” the haunting "Old Man Song” and George Harrison cover, "Long, Long, Long” are among the many standouts. The blueprint for methodical, deceptively simple statements that transcend studio trickery, Low truly proves themselves to be the benchmark for any slowcore band. A Lifetime of Temporary Relief does drag due to the everything-and-the-kitchen-sink approach to song inclusion, but there are more than enough great moments. In fact, this box set is essential simply because it reinforces the notion that a band like Low are still needed to remind us to appreciate those in-between moments, by telling us simply and nicely to slow the fuck down.

What was the reason behind such an exhaustive and definitive collection? Alan Sparhawk: Essentially, this was the easy way to put it all in one package so people could economise their collection. If you’ve got all the records, the EPs and the box set, well, you pretty much have everything. If we tried to narrow it down, we’d get into trouble so we put it all on there and put it out at a decent price. Now, hopefully we won’t have to play them.

The title is different for a Low release, with a dash of self-depreciation. We kind of came across the phrase and it seemed like a great oxymoron and kind of funny. We thought the box set is just so much stuff that it seems like lifetime of temporary relief, something that never solves the problems but just glazes over it unendingly; an effective but somewhat pitiful drug.

With your current trend towards louder, up-tempo songs, have there been complaints that you don’t sound like Low anymore? No one’s ever said it to our face, but I definitely know that some people are flabbergasted at some of the loud songs at shows. You really are faced with the question, "What am I interested in and, the stuff you’re writing, is it really what you want to do?” If you’re standing back far enough, we still sound like the same band but anybody that’s followed us has recognised some sort of progression, hopefully more Beatles than AC/DC. (Chair Kickers Union)