Drums And Guns

  • Record Label: Sub Pop
  • Release Date: Mar 20, 2007

Universal acclaim - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. What seemed like a radical departure two years ago now sounds like a waystation on the journey to this more disjointed, more fragmented, more demanding, and ultimately more rewarding work.
  2. It’s still identifiably Low, but richer and more diverse than before.
  3. It is still more accessible than previous Low records, as The Great Destroyer was, but doesn’t ever compromise the pure sincerity that the trio have conveyed throughout their career.
  4. This is no mere regression into a tried and tested formula for the Duluth trio. Each of these tracks is more than their trademark guitar, bass, drum soundscapes with delicate vocals hovering above the mix.
  5. Here the material has the swagger and toughness of loud, sloppy rock.
  6. However early in the voting period we may be, Drums and Guns will undoubtedly go down as one of 2007's strongest albums.
  7. Filter
    The downer record of the year. [#24, p.92]
  8. I doubt Low fans who've held on this long will rebel against these new textures, more the way they're employed-- the band has added an almost disconcerting levity, and subtracted the gentleness.
  9. At times, it can be a difficult piece of work and its dark themes may require a few spins to grow on the listener. Irrespective, Drums and Guns is a fine piece of work, Low's best since Things We Lost in the Fire.
  10. It's a lean, potent work, and even if it's not one of Low's most superficially pleasant collections of songs, it's certainly among their most necessary ones.
  11. Drums and Guns... represent[s] another pinnacle for the band after a long climb, building on the experiments of their recent output but with reawakened confidence and vigor.
  12. It's dark, lovely and slow to blossom, but leaves an impression once it does.
  13. Drums & Guns is likely to split opinion to a greater extent than any other piece of Low's extensive catalogue, but avid fans should not be put off as behind the challenging production and at the centre of all their controlled experimentation lies one of the band’s strongest releases to date.
  14. Music this sparse, this abandoned and this beautiful... you can never have too much of it.
  15. This is probably the hardest Low album I’ve heard to appreciate, but it’s certainly worth it.
  16. Uncut
    They may have defined a genre, but Low can clearly still move forward. [May 2007, p.99]
  17. Mojo
    A record that sounds like absolutely no one else on the planet. [May 2007, p.102]
  18. Q Magazine
    A purely musical delight. [May 2007, p.126]
  19. The record is gloomy but never disturbing—a bummer that doesn't leave you bummed.
  20. Paste Magazine
    Some of the most expressive tracks of Low's career. [Apr 2007, p.57]
  21. Urb
    Dependable? Yes. Beautiful? Definitely, yes. [Apr 2007, p.107]
  22. The trio have discovered a few new sonic tricks, but it's the celestial duel-vocals of Parker and Sparhawk which continue to ensure that Low always reach such beautiful highs.
  23. Under The Radar
    Though the subject matter (war, murder, apocalypse) is undeniably heavy, the band has never sounded like they’ve had this much fun before in their career. [#17, p.92]
  24. Alternative Press
    One of the better nuanced and layered compositions we're likely to see before 2007 ends. [May 2007, p.152]
  25. The sound is still layered and textured, and those gut-achingly gorgeous seamless harmonies between Sparhawk and wife Mimi Parker are still there.
  26. At the end of it all, Guns And Drums feels more like an inconsistent experiment than a full fledged step forward.
  27. The subject matter takes them closer to Nick Cave than ever before, yet, whereas he displays a knowing black humour, Low’s earnestness sometimes makes them unwittingly hilarious.
  28. Long, luscious songs and cinematic melancholy are their usual preserve; their eighth album see these traded in for short, sharp shocks, metallic percussion, bullet-brusque sound effects, and frequent references to war, hate and death.
  29. Spin
    The production is as overwrought as the antiwar themes. [Apr 2007, p.88]
  30. It’s not quite the doom-laden disaster that provisional plays suggest but neither is it an easy-to-recommend addition to the Low catalogue.

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 19 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Jul 16, 2014
    Drums and Guns sees Low add further layers to their trademark sparse sound. While there are no bad tracks present, the record waits untilDrums and Guns sees Low add further layers to their trademark sparse sound. While there are no bad tracks present, the record waits until three quarters of the way through to properly catch fire and has one of the best ending sequence of songs of the bands career. I found Drums and Guns highly enjoyable and has a bit more texture and life to it than some of their other records. Essentially the band are trying some new idea without every sounding truly convinced of what they are doing. "Breaker" lights up the first half of the album while "Murderer" is one of the bands most sinister songs to date and is akin to a nasty twist in the penultimate scene of a film. Another solid effort from one of the most consistent bands out there. Full Review »
  2. BobM.
    Jun 9, 2007
    A huge disappointment. The production sounds like the earliest stereophonic vinyl discs, where instruments and voices were placed at the A huge disappointment. The production sounds like the earliest stereophonic vinyl discs, where instruments and voices were placed at the extremities of the sound stage, leaving a sucked out centre stage. When listening to the tracks, through high quality headphones, music and lyrics take second place to the "arty-farty"electronica. My verdict: remix and Low will have a little masterpiece on their hands. Full Review »
  3. Kyle
    May 2, 2007
    No weaknesses in this album, pretty solid.