It’s hard to believe it’s been seven years since the last Dirty Three album, Cinder, hit the shelves. Then again, the instrumental trio is always busy playing or composing with someone. Warren Ellis, Mick Turner and Jim White are highly regarded session men and it’s no wonder it took a while to get together to lay down this record. The process was difficult with a start-stop schedule, but the group’s eighth album, Toward the Low Sun, has finally arrived together with another fine Mick Turner painting for the cover art.
While Cinder saw the group taking a more structured approach complete with vocals, Toward the Low Sun sees the group returning to their more chaotic, freestyle approach. The songs rumble and tumble together, working themselves into heavy improvisations. As usual, all three members contribute equally and no one outshines the other. Mick Turner even plays some acoustic guitar on “Rain Song” and there is piano and organ thrown in to accent the compositions. The tunes range from free jazz assaults to tender ballads, but each track reaffirms Dirty Three’s unique approach to their songs. The range in moods and themes relate well to the song titles which is as close as you get to lyrics on this record. Dirty Three are one of the most energetic and engaging acts you will see live. Have a listen to the single, “Rising Below.”