Features | Awards

The “Keanu Reeves in Dogstar” Award for Credible Shift into Indie Rock

By George Bass | 17 December 2009

Riding The Low :: They Will Rob You Of Your Gifts
(Clinical Finish; 2009)

Acting, as any coalition IED sweeper will tell you, is a draining and volatile job. These days the exerted thespian has a whole catalogue of remedies to help alleviate the stresses of pretending, each designed to counter the very real and very serious issue of limelight PTSD. Ketamine, Lindsay Lohan, and introducing hamsters to the anus are just some of the celebrity fallbacks, but no single therapy can be quite so dangerous as wantonly picking up instruments. So when drummer-turned-photographer-turned-actor Paddy Considine announced he’d be turning his hand as a vocalist, the historical odds were against him. He could play a good fruitloop. He could chock some mean moves. But there was a hulking 78% chance singer-songwriting would be too much and punch him right up the Mickey Rourke.

Well fuck you statistics, as the much-referred-to Midlands DeNiro has slapped his screen sizzle into Britpop with neurons. With a band name attributed to a Lee Marvin quote about the downtime he felt between projects (and an EP referencing the multiple narcotics he used to winch himself out of the pit), the PC-spearheaded quintet of self-depreciating Burtonites jam like a Robertson’s factory, producing bonafide pit-winchers minus all the drug-ugly bits. It seems Considine is genuinely either one of the boys or he can character-act the pants off any other energetic rock star: the Low crackle with wrath and empathy in the way only close-knit tour teams can (they’re not exactly early Gallagher brothers, but they do date each other’s sisters), and their first studio taster is a four-track powerhouse. “You say go easy now but I’m not even easy on my own / What about going easy on you / I’m not easy on my own,” harmonises guitarist Chris Baldwin, already displaying Frusciante symptoms as he turns two chords into an elixir. They Will Rob You… can light its first birthday candle with glee—originally iTunesed in July last year but made physical in 2009—and with Considine promising future track titles such as “Meatflags” and “His Love Affair With Americana Is Over,” the only way for the Low to go is up. Look out Yazz.