Low Life

Downer Edn

BY Ryan HaugheyPublished Mar 12, 2019

Australian post-punk band Low Life follow up their first record from 2016 with Downer Edn. Low Life are based in Sydney, but they call back to the mid-'90s Ohio lo-fi group V3 for inspiration. Their own music has an edgier sound that fits in well with today's grimy punk rock scene in the land down under.
Fearlessly trudging through bars of opportunistic, angry vocals and a solid block of guitar tone, Low Life thrash through some songs and drag through others. Garbled backing vocals create illusions of an angry mob shouting along with the lead vocals. The chorused and phased guitar feedback puts barbed wire atop the wall of power chords that drive each track, while the bass and drums keep everything together.
The first standout track on the record is "Rave Slave"; lyrics tell a story of an addiction to the glamour of nightlife, sung by drunken-sounding droning vocals. Glittering synthesizers shine through on the chorus, while the gritty style of the guitars, bass, and drums reflect the theme of the tune.
Low Life drench the vocals in Auto-Tune on the track "Gabbertron," creating a unique mix of sounds along with the bass and guitar tones, which are fuzzy with gain. "Warrior" belts out quick shots on the guitars that match the snare hits, propelling the heavily enunciated lyrics at a steady pace.
The record tends to blend together in some spots, as similar and repetitive progressions are blanketed by the low chant of the vocals. However, the short length of each song makes for smooth transitions that allow the record flow naturally — as smooth a flow as Low Life's whiplash style will allow.

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