- ALT45CD ALT45
The whole “five band years = a lifetime” biz trope is justified 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 and Yuta Matsumura of Oily Boys and Orion were brought in to reinforce the thick wall of guitars, freeing Tolman up as a dedicated front man for live duties. The hours of studio work have resulted in the band sounding more confident and fully realised, reaching and finding a sound that was perhaps unattainable 5 years prior. However, lurking behind the bigger vision and polished production, Downer Edn is a complex proposition and remains a dark blast of an album. Expansive and cohesive, yet shimmering and rough; something they can be proud to call a definitive statement.
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.
Unified on RBB, ruminating on 92, chasing the escape on Rave Slave, and unwillingly defiant on Warrior, Downer Edition reaches past the wild ride of Dogging - this truly is the album that Low Life have been threatening to make for nearly a decade. Released in conjunction with Goner Records in the USA and Cool Death in Australia.