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Low & Spring Heel Jack: Bombscare [VINYL 12

Merging the US band Low of Alan Sparhawk (guitar, voice), Mimi Parker (voice, drums), Zak Sally (bass) and Ed Coxon (violin, viola) with Ashley Wales of the UK band Spring Heel Jack, in an EP of lush slow moving and beautiful songs, structurally interesting pieces of beautiful abstraction; unavailable for two decades and lovingly reissued now on the Treader imprint.

Price: $25.95


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product information:

Label: Treader
Catalog ID: TRD 001EP
Squidco Product Code: 28226

Format: LP
Condition: New
Released: 2019
Country: UK
Packaging: LP
Engineered upstairs at the Strongroom, in London, England, by Mads Bjerke.


Alan Sparhawk-composer, performer

Mimi Parker-drums

Ed Coxon-violin, viola

Ashley Wales-composer, performer

Zak Sally-bass

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Artist Biographies:

"Alan Sparhawk (born 1969) is an American musician and singer-songwriter. He is best known as the guitarist and vocalist for bands Low and Retribution Gospel Choir.

George Alan Sparhawk (who goes by "Alan") was born in Seattle, Washington and grew up in Utah. He met Mimi Parker when he was 9, after his family moved to Minnesota. Sparhawk began writing his own compositions around the age of 13. He later married Parker, and eventually began performing with her in the band Low in Duluth, Minnesota in 1993.

Low released their first album in 1994. As of 2015, Low has released eleven full-length studio albums. As of 2010, the group is composed of founding members Sparhawk (guitar and vocals) and Mimi Parker (drums and vocals), joined by newer addition Steve Garrington (bass guitar).

The music of Low is characterized by slow tempos and minimalist arrangements. Early descriptions sometimes referred to it as rock subgenre called "slowcore". However, Low's members ultimately disapproved of the term.

Parker and Sparhawk's striking vocal harmonies represent perhaps the group's most distinctive element; critic Denise Sullivan writes that their shared vocals are "as chilling as anything Gram and Emmylou ever conspired on—though that's not to say it's country-tinged, just straight from the heart."

Sparhawk is also a member of the blues-roots band Black Eyed Snakes, the blues-dub jam band Los Besos, and the rock band Retribution Gospel Choir. He also occasionally plays solo shows in his hometown. As a solo artist, Sparhawk released his debut album entitled Solo Guitar in August, 2006. He also released a track on a various artists compilation, Songs for the End of the World, as Hollis M. Sparhawk & Her Father, and the track "Be Nice To People With Lice" on the various artists compilation album See You on the Moon!. In 2007 he did a Take-Away Show acoustic video session shot by Vincent Moon.

Sparhawk has done charity work with the Maasai tribe in Kenya. After a friend of his became a friend of the village of Namuncha, he played a Christmas show in order to raise funds to build a school there, where students had previously been meeting in the shade outside. He calls the experience of visiting the Maasai one of the most spiritual of his life.

Alan and Mimi live in Duluth, Minnesota, with their two children. They are members of the Mormon faith, about which Sparhawk has said, "our spiritual beliefs encompass our whole life and understanding of who we are and what we do."

In 2012, Sparhawk, along with vocalist and fiddle player Gaelynn Lea, created the group A Murder of Crows. Their first album, Imperfecta, was released in June 2012.

Sparhawk has tuned his guitar to Open G since the late eighties, saying, "now it's the only way I know how.""

-Wikipedia (

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"Mimi Parker, of Duluth, Minnesota, is best known as the vocalist and the drummer of the indie rock band, Low. Parker is married to Low bandmate Alan Sparhawk with 2 children. She is a practicing Mormon."

-Metal Archives (

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Ed Coxon is a violinist, known for the bands Gavin Bryars Ensemble, Lyric Quartet, The BT Scottish Ensemble.

-Discogs (

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"Ashley Wales is a British composer and record producer, one half of Spring Heel Jack with John Coxon and an integral part of Bruise with Tony Bevan. He put on and hosted the monthly 'back in your town' concerts at the Red Rose in North London which saw the likes of John Tchicai, Other Dimensions in Music, Matthew Shipp, Han Bennink and many others playing with local improvising musicians. Ashley uses a wide range of sources to make music with including live sampling, electronics and acoustic instruments."

-Cafe Oto (

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"Zak Sally is a bassist and a comic artist. He was formerly the bassist for the bands Low and Enemymine (with Mike Kunka of godheadSilo) and is currently the singer and guitar player in The Hand. He is a native of Duluth, Minnesota, currently owns and operates his own press, La Mano, in Minneapolis. La Mano serves as a publisher for Sally's works as well as those of other comic artists including John Porcellino and William Schaff. Sally also had a cameo in the movie Shopgirl, as a member of the band Hot Tears. Sally is also a comics art professor at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design."

-Wikipedia (

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track listing:


1. Bombscare 4:30

2. Hand So Small 3:37


1. So Easy (So Far) 3:51

2. Way Behind 4:59
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Bombscare is an extraordinarily lush, poignant collaboration between quiet rockers Low and experimental electronic duo Spring Heel Jack. Spring Heel Jack provides the musical collage as a background for the harmonies and solo vocals of Low's Mimi Parker and Alan Sparhawk. Their production creates an icy cathedral of sound that... when it was released nearly 20 years ago, sounded unlike anything else in either band's discography.

Bombscare bleeds mood, space, and texture as sounds ring out and echo into the distance. 'Hand So Small' works like a literate lullaby as musical flourishes appear from thin air, a piano haunts the outskirts of the song. 'So Easy (So Far)' is perhaps the most traditional Low song, but Spring Heel Jack manages to make the band sound like they're singing modern day Brothers Grimm tales. 'Way Behind' is a stunning closer. It's a truly exhilarating song that sounds like it was recorded in heaven, as Parker and Sparhawk again take turns singing angelically over a jazzy electronic stew full of subtle found-sounds.

Bombscare hints at the musical turn Spring Heel Jack would take on Masses and presents Low at the absolute peak of their powers. It's too bad the collaborators didn't compile an entire album's worth of material, as these 16 minutes seem magically fleeting. Bombscare couldn't be a more superb collaboration between these innovative artists."-Treader

Related Categories of Interest:

Vinyl Recordings
Rock and Related
Improvised Music
Quintet Recordings
Song Based Music
New in Rock Forms
New in Experimental & Electronic Music
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