My introduction to AIM LOW was innocent enough. Our story would grow to include repurposed venues, band members going off the grid, eight grown men in the tiniest hotel room in Kingston, Ontario, and what I am sure is permanent hearing loss. But the beginning was simple: my band shared a bill with them in the back room of Le Cagibi, a vegetarian restaurant in Montreal’s Mile End neighbourhood. As the band opened up suitcases full of fuzz pedals and intertwined patch cables, our friendship became inevitable: we were speaking the same language.
The language of their new 12" Scratched Out is dichotomous - equal parts beautiful and terrifying. There is the initial sonic bliss of a full frequency attack; the buried treasures of repeated listening; the hidden structure underpinning it all. This is not a record of easy answers. There are some touchstones: mid-80s Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, decades of people picking up traditional instruments and trying to make them new, otherwordly. This is AIM LOW.
The sessions for the record were cursed. Guitar amps were destroyed. People were rushed to the hospital. Hard drives disappeared under mysterious circumstances. The initial test pressings were botched. Promises were broken. People went missing. It was, however, not all bad. A full length was recorded in the interim (it is being mixed by Jon Drew, who mastered this set). A marriage happened. People moved from the suburbs to the city. The sessions for Scratched Out, which took place in both a church and a small recording studio, were finally recovered and remixed and the band fell back in love with the songs and realized they warranted proper presentation. This is the result. It is 3 songs over 26 minutes. It will invite you in and offer no easy answers. Is there a truer function of music?
Scratched Out will be released on March 10, 2017.
-Chad Peck, Kestrels/We Need Secrets/Noyes Records