"Motel 30" has always been a great song. Now it begins with the roar of the crowd, followed by the ever-recognizable wah, building tension and urgency. Then, almost when you're ready to give up--you can't take it anymore--therein lies your relief. Guitars (complete with more wah and distortion), drums and the voice of an independent legend Ron Hawkins lead you into the Lowest of the Low's live reunion album, Nothing Short of a Bullet.
This disc is the first we've heard from Hawkins and company (not to be confused with near-elderly Canadian country favourite Rockin' Ronnie Hawkins) since their nine-year "hiatus" began, just a year after the release of 1993's Hallucigenia. For a band championed as indie-poster boys, they come off as experienced, seasoned pros with roots in the stripped-down basics of rock. The track's like "Dogs of February" will remind those familiar with the Low just how they etched their reputation in the pages of Canadian rock and give those who haven't a much-needed history lesson. Complete with three new studio tracks, as hard, tight and direct as ever, Nothing Short of a Bullet is a measuring stick with which to measure how far Canadian rock has come since Hawkins went off with the Rusty Nails and everyone else went their separate ways. And looking at what possible comparisons there are, it seems that Canada's rock scene would still have to put the Low on a pedestal.
Now, this isn't a comeback cd, nor is it a sign of things to come. The Low is gone. Nothing Short of a Bullet is nothing short of a reminder of greatness--a postcard from the Low.
Check out Lowest of the Low live Thu., Sept. 12, at the Wyckham House.