Once infamously dubbed (s)Low, the decade-old Duluth, Minnesota, trio Low may well flummox you with its seventh album. Whereas its overriding impetus was once plaintive and austere, The Great Destroyer holds firm under the sway of what you'd expect from a tightly coiled lion: menacing and wiry while generating enough rumble to strike fear into speaker cones and fans averse to change. If there's a song that best defines its contemporary aesthetic, it is the determined, teetering "Just Stand Back." Surrounding a chiming, E-bowed guitar ascension, guitarist-vocalist Alan Sparhawk cautions, "I could turn on you so fast," before laying down Destroyer's definitive summation: "It's a hit/It's got soul/Steal the show with your rock and roll."

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Tony Ware

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