[B] 'Whatever...'[/B] is typical - baroque, incisive violin, jazzy digressions and ponderous drums ...
By the title’s logic, [a]Dirty Three[/a] 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 [a]Dirty Three[/a] 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 [a]Dirty Three[/a]. 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. [a]Dirty Three[/a] simply carry on regardless.