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Customer reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
16
Bow Down To The Exit Sign
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 23 February 2016
SOME NICE TRACKS AND AN INTERESTING CONCEPT
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on 13 May 2015
Excellent
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on 24 April 2001
Any doubts of his talent would have been completely bludgeoned away by the latest offering from Holmes. Not only does he sound older, but badder and meaner. 'Bow Down...' has the perfect balance between aggression, coolness and deep down dirtiness, a balance not quite reached by the Primals on 'Exterminator'. Amidst the several interludes, which help give the album that smoky feel, there are ten tracks, which are more diverse in musical style than a John Peel radio show.
Bobby Gillespie appears twice on two angry dirty punk tracks whilst Jon Spencer is on a song full of haunting organ sounds. On a couple of tracks, there's gripping heavy bass sounds that propel soulful Black vocals and on 'Zero Tolerance' there's a sexy female voice that sings against a backdrop of jangly indie guitars. I haven't even mentioned the catchy happy hook featured on '69 Police'. With such a range of sounds, it's hard to imagine that Holmes began as humble Techno experimentalist.
Like the very few, (Liam Howlett, Ed & Tom Chemical, Richard Fearless), David Holmes is a true musical genius and he finds it exceptionally easy to use various musical influences to great effect. It's not pop but 'Bow Down...' is a journey through anger, frustration, sex and soul and it's worth going on it again and again...
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VINE VOICEon 28 June 2000
Bow Down... is a fantastic album. Its mastery lies in the broad range of styles Holmes addresses throughout its course. The opening song, compared to what, is wonderfully funky, whilst the following track, sick city, is voiced by Primal Scream's Bobby Gillespie and could have come off their exterminator album without much difficulty - i love it.
Later on the album gets a bit more chilled and the chunks of faux movie dialogue make for interesting listening.
i bought this album two days ago and it hasn't come off my stereo since. I am sure that this will make up the soundtrack to my summer.
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on 10 April 2002
From start to finish this album expresses a slick coolness with stylish beats and a cool fresh sound. Holmes seems to have drawn more from his experience on film scores than his previous album 'Lets Get Killed'.
As the previous album is one of my all time favourites, I was dissapointed with 'Bow Down to the Exit Sign' on first play. I missed the sense of gritty darkness and raw dispair that made 'Lets Get Killed' so distinctive. However I soon grew to its more modern beats and rhythms. It was clear Holmes was trying to do something different with this album as opposed to doing 'Lets Get Killed 2' and not joining a growing trend of musicians who release albums which sound just like there last one because it sold well (like Travis).
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on 10 November 2000
Bobby Gillespie said recently that too much dance music is just functional, and he's right. It's to readymade for Ibiza, to get pissed and pull birds. This album, then, is all the more welcome. It's an incredibly full-sounding record. It's got anger, edge and purpose. A method to its madness, if you like.
Not so much like dance-infused rock, more like punk-infested chaos. It quite often brings to mind the atmosphere of a blaxploitation film, with its' smooth-talkin' jive and crazed funky drummer backbeats and marijuana-slow drum patterns. Guest vocalists such as Bobby Gillespie and Martina Toppley-Bird are an integral part of the sound, giving venom and fire to lyrics that may otherwise just be meaningless drug-infused rants. They are not just beautiful wallpaper. In other words, they are part of the record, particularly in the case of the lovely, Toppley-Bird sung "Zero Tolerance". The tracks which don't have a lead vocal on them, use dialogue samples (heavily) to give them soul and gravitas, although this is not "Readymade dance music, just add samples", this album has gravitas anyway. It seems to be saying the world's a terrible place and we have to do something about it, but these are not empty, Phil-Collins-type sentiments. Holmes's wish is to destroy the world and start anew. This album, then, is all the more welcome. It grooves along at a slow, brooding pace, occasionally, such as in the case of "Sick City", exploding into out-and-out punk violence, before reducing the heat to threatening simmer level, just as suddenly, never quite clearing the air. It gives plenty of thought to everything it does. It refuses to pad itself out with meaningless beats'n'banter.
Like Bobby Gillespie, Holmes portrays the world as he sees it. He does not try to glorify it. In "Sick City", he revels in it and soaks it all in. On the stoned lullaby "69 Police" - which after repeated listening, stick its neck out as the album's stand-out track - it's almost like he's taking us on a guided tour of parts of the world evil corporations do not want us to see. "69 Police" is a kind of transition piece. There are moments too of great lightness. The record opens with "Live From The Peppermint Store", the funny sampling of a kids' TV show, before the madness and anger of "Compared To What". These shifts in tempo and mood give the record a balance lacking in the likes of Underworld. Holmes is at pains to stress that this world is a violent one, where happiness is only glimpsed briefly. There's a creeping thread of paranoia running through the album's fifty-four minutes. The seeds are sown, Tarantino-style, in "Live From The Peppermint Store". That's probably why Bobby Gillespie's here. He too sings of a world where paranoia and corruption are parts of everyday life. There is a great flow and cohesiveness on this album, everything sounds completely different. This album skips the death trap of many dance records. Its' a soul groove like "Compared To What" one moment and a punky blast like "Sick City" the next.
So then, to summarise. It's a dance record while being a great soul record and a blast of aggressive punky air, sometimes one after the other, but more often all at the same time. It's not a record that kicks into the taste buds instantly, you have to listen to it time and time again, to fully enjoy and experience it. It's got pop hooks like "69 Police" and "Zero Tolerance" to snag your attention at first and a whole variety of different sounds, feelings and vibes, to ensure you stay, at least for a while. Unlike most DJs of the '88 Acid House vintage, who have either stagnated, burned out, or become whores to the Top 40 dollar, Holmes has never lost his maverick streak. But only now, has it fully paid off. This record is an out-an-out masterpiece.
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on 31 July 2000
This is an amazing album, but what seems to be missing from the page, dispite a large number of referances to his film background, no one has mentioned that "Bow Down..." is actually a soundtrack itself. The film, called The Living Room, was written by Holmes' best mates girlfriend and is currently in the process of being developed. Can anyone tell me where I can find a copy of the script, or is this not avalible.
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on 14 September 2000
And if that doesn't make sense, then you probably won't understand this cd on the first listen. And it's not techno. It's too 'organic' for that, but still mixes in samples here in there really sly. It's not techno because it's not some euro dj spinning drum and bass heavy tracks and coming out some retard of an 80's hip hop dj. It goes beyond techno, by going back into alot of forms of dance and mood music, and mixing them together.
And it's cinematic. Really really cinematic. From the first track and it's mix of commercial jingle and movie dialogue really takes it off. But the following tracks are really what makes it interesting.
Starting with the second track, a remake of 'Compared to What' featuring Carl Hancock Rux, Holmes and Rux mix together soul, hip hop, 90's R&B, and rapped spoken word poetry. It's about three decades of black music warped into a 4 minute track. The follow-up 'Sick City' with Bobby Gillespie on vocals sounds like some sort of manic acid-rap/rock track re-treading thru sounds like Iggy Pop, The Stooges, and Sly Stone. Martina Toppley-Bird's tracks also blend together mixes of soul, gospel, punk, and drum n' bass highlighted on her track 'Zero Tolerance'. All of the previous 3 mentioned artists guests on other songs, with Rux turning in a track that sounds like a Red Hot Chili Peppers cover of 'I Am the Walrus' remixed by DJ Premier on 'The Living Room' and Bobby and Martina showing up on the mbient/trance/punk track 'Slip Your Skin'. The only real misstep on the album is 'Bad Thing' by Jon Spencer. Granted it's not a horrible song, or even a bad one. It is just so demented, hook-laiden, and dark, that an entire album composed of similar tracks would have been better. "Bow Down.." is seedy, but not dark and evil as that track.
The instrumentals that Holmes and his backing band (something that only the Lo-Fi All-Stars have mastered in electronica) compose are also worth the cd. Those highlights are easily '69 Police' (which could corssover to all types of fans of music with its strong melody and psychedlic mix of styles) and the obviously cinematic 'Hey Lisa' which closes the album and boasts a string section composed and conducted by David Arnold. Overall the album is highly recommended.
The styles of music that the cd mixes together, while focusing on black and cinematic sounds and grooves, should attract the interest of many people. If you like hip hop (#2), punk (#3), trip hop (#8), blues & psychedlica (#5), alternative-dance (#9) or film scores (#15) this cd is for you.
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on 4 August 2017
Been listening to this for years, it's one of my favourite albums ever and one of the few I listen to over and over. Uplifting, funky and soulful plus dark, brooding, punky and angry. Just brilliant.
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on 4 July 2000
David Holmes has always been a bit different. From his debut (This Films Crap, Lets Slash The Seats), a deep, dark affair with few of the funky points of his more popular second album, Lets Get Killed and his soundtrack to the film Out Of Site. As different from each other as those albums where (each superb in their own right) Bow Down To The Exit Sign does these changes in one album, about 8 times in one album. With superb collaborations with the likes of Martina Toppley Bird, Jon Spencer and Bobby Gillespie, Holmes manages to catch each artist in their element, Martina delivering soft meaningful lyrics that sound like another instrument, not a voice. Jon Spencer has the bluesy yet almost insane touch he does so well (bad thing). Over all this though Bobby G has the golden touch. His voice creating swirling images in your head whilst David Holmes works the music, surpassing any rock outfit I've heard, just for pure adrenaline and yet keeping his cool (sick city). Although I have only highlighted some of the songs, it does not mean that the others are below par. Far from it, they all show enough skill and pure groove to keep you tripping all night.
Primal Scream's Exterminator was hailed as the first New sounding album for this century. This is the second, but it is also the best.
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