Low Guns

Release Date:
November 18, 2013

"Low Guns" was released by SixToes, an English band, as a single and is also on the album called The Morning After. The song features Dave Gahan on vocals.


The cracks from all those fading smiles
The tears now chase down the face
In single file
The soldiers guard him in vain
They all drum, each one unnamed
Thoughts ricochet round cracks from sallow smiles
Hold the trenches phantom trials
Low guns thunder
Rolling over rocking under us
Low guns thunder
Rolling over rocking under us

Dave's Take

"I always really liked the remixes that Six Toes did for Depeche Mode over the years, so when the band reached out to me about working with the band on 'Low Guns', I jumped on the opportunity. The band are exceptionally talented, the song connected with me, and I think the video is inspired and fantastic."1

My Take

This is a deeply divisive song...you either get it or you don't, and you either love it or hate it. And that's mostly because while it uses traditional instruments like a string section and harmonica (played by Dave), it doesn't really have a traditional format. There are no distinct melodic motifs, the words are sparse, and there is no distinguishable beginning, middle, and end. I mean, look at how short the lyrics are above. With that said, yes, this song is quite difficult to appreciate in the traditional sense and thus might be better looked at as a poem set to music, though the words are sung rather than spoken. The words portray a very simple yet sad image of war, using a lot of words associated with the sounds of battle as if to drive the point home- words like "drum," "ricochet," "thunder," "rolling," and "rocking." And the singing is slow and languid, as if the words were sung by someone suffering from fatigue brought on by prolonged battle, which seems to all be fought "in vain."

Music Video

The video pans across a scene at a train station, moving faster than the actual people in the scene, who appear to be moving very, very slowly. There are well-dressed soldiers running, screaming, and carrying flags, circus performers and dancers, as well as ordinary-looking people. The members of SixToes, themselves, are seen playing their instruments in a few places.

My Take

The video was filmed at the Ravenscourt Park tube station in London. The style was apparently inspired by the viral video, Glide 22, created by Graeme Taylor, who is what I understand to be an amateur cinematographer and hobbyist. You can read about his "stuck in motion" filming technique here and here, and it's actually quite fascinating. Anyway, I digress. And before you ask, no, Dave does not appear at all in this video. Like the original video it was inspired by, the video for this song is intended to give the viewer the sense that they are riding on a high-speed tube carriage and watching the scene through the window. While watching this video, I noticed that the various people are a mix of ordinary and extraordinary. The ordinary-looking people look like they belong there at the train station and are just going about their day, but the "extraordinary"-looking people- the band members, the soldiers, and the circus performers all seem out of place at the plain-looking station, especially the soldiers who are running and screaming and carrying flags as if they're charging on the front lines of a battle. So, I have to admit that I don't quite know what it all means, but SixToes singer, David Greenep, said, "Low Guns is sort of a snap shot in time; a moment of complete vulnerability. The soldiers represent natural barriers that I think we create to make sure that certain feelings will not come again."2 Hmmm.


  1. "SixToes collaborate with Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode", AltSounds.com (October 3, 2013)
  2. "SixToes share new video for 'Low Guns' (feat. Dave Gahan)", WithGuitars.com (November 10, 2013)