Smart Flesh - Rolling Stone
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Smart Flesh

This Rhode Island band plays despairing songs at crippled-spirit speed, in stridently antique tones: long sighs of pump organ; the soprano warble of a bowed saw; the rusted-Leonard Cohen whisper of singer-songwriter Ben Knox Miller. Smart Flesh is also magnificent sadness. The Low Anthem render the ghosts and damaged souls in these songs with delicate precision — the swirling pedal steel guitar in "Apothecary Love," the pregnant spaces and sternly strummed banjo in "I'll Take Out Your Ashes" — steeped in echo. It's as if the Band stripped their prairie-gothic majesty down to Tom Waits' early barfly essentials. There are few happy endings here, but the wounded have plenty of room to roam and waltz.

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In This Article: The Low Anthem


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