Whatever You Love, You Are

[B] 'Whatever...'[/B] is typical - baroque, incisive violin, jazzy digressions and ponderous drums ...

By the title's logic, Dirty Three are a plaintive violin, a noisy catharsis and an oblique phrase. For these are the things Bad Seed Warren Ellis and friends Mick Turner and Jim White love - so much that they have remained true to them through seven years and five Dirty Three albums. It's accidental, then, that 'Whatever...' should come so close to brushing shoulders with the passing post-rock zeitgeist, as these fellows were making dark, beautiful and frequently unpleasant instrumental music when Mogwai were but a glint in young Stuart Braithwaite's eye.

The vicissitudes of fashion, however, are of no consequence to Dirty Three. Theirs is a hermetically sealed universe of eerie melodies and stabbing despair. 'Whatever...' is typical - baroque, incisive violin, jazzy digressions and ponderous drums - though they've smoothed out the inebriated, jarring squall that characterised earlier albums to make room for a more relaxed, contemplative atmosphere.

Each of the six songs (which all hover around the seven-minute mark) reveal different facets of this slowed-down template. Achingly morose opener 'Some Summers They Drop Like Flies' sounds like a snippet from a vampire film soundtrack, 'I Really Should've Gone Out Last Night' treads a countrified path redolent of Yo La Tengo and 'I Offered It Up To The Stars And The Night Sky' is an unsettling sprawl of Stravinsky-derived classicism and discordance.

Time, for once, may be on their side. Dirty Three simply carry on regardless.
7 / 10

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