Low Life ~ Downer Edn
The whole “five band years = a lifetime” biz trope is justified, if not negated, by the second album from Sydney’s Low Life. Arriving with an aura of anticipation, 'Downer Edn' (read: Edition) feels like a collective document of the band's timeline since their unforgettable debut ‘Dogging’; an album which made enough of a mark on the punk landscape in 2014 to justify a reissue on London's Alter in 2017.
Recorded over two years and mixed in 2018 by Mikey Young (Total Control / Eddy Current Suppression Ring), ‘Downer Edn’ sees the core trio of Mitch Tolman, Cristian O’Sullivan and Greg Alfaro expand their ranks to a five piece. Dizzy Daldal of Oily Boys & Orion was brought in to reinforce the thick wall of guitars, whilst fifth member Yuta Matsumura, also of Oily Boys & Orion, re-joined the group later to free Tolman up as a dedicated front man for live duties.
As far as Australian punk is concerned, Downer Edition not only shatters the boundaries applied by that descriptor, it does so with the lushest attack conceivable. Like their (admitted) influence, the enigmatic Ohio legends of obscurity, V3, seldom has the f*** word been sung (repeatedly) in such a believable and poetic manner.
The visceral pounding of melodies throughout the album transforms their inspirations; desperation, neuroses, trauma, survival, hooliganism, violence, hope, rejuvenation, and their hometown of Sydney’s full architectural and social scope - from a realm of intangibility to the very, very tangible.