The Retribution Gospel Choir

An intriguing side project that joins the laconic talents of Low's Alan Sparhawk and Red House Painters' Mark Kozelek, the Retribution Gospel Choir would seem to gravitate toward the grayer tones of the color spectrum. Then again, the band only recently formed and hasn't released a single song together. Still, it's got to be a droney, slowcore kind of thing, right? Nostalgia moving at the speed of a glacier, desperation with a side of confusion? A curious excerpt from the group's press release says that it "ups the sonic ante with Steve Vai via Ralph Macchio-influenced guitar solos" and tells listeners to expect covers of artists ranging from Neil Young to Pere Ubu to A Flock of Seagulls -- along with interpretations from each of their catalogs. That's all fine and dandy, but which one is the Karate Kid? Sparhawk is a recovering Mormon who probably got picked on a lot growing up in Duluth, although Kozelek does have that fascination with dead boxers like Salvador Sanchez and Duk Koo Kim. Where's Pat Morita when you need him?
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John La Briola