It's pretty hard to not find an immediately kinship with a band named Lower Self. I mean come on, who can't relate to that state of mind? Almost sounds like the next self help craze waiting to happen, "get in touch with your lower self." I feel like I do that all the time, and not just because I'm short or an ill-behaved person with a minuscule amount of self esteem. If you're in the mood for a very sci-fi sort punk movement ripe with angst and otherworldly flavor, definitely get in touch with Lower Self's self-titled album Lower Self and see if it satisfies that craving.
You can definitely get lost in the chaotic and furiously punk rock universe Lower Self builds in with the eight tracks on this album. I am pleasantly surprised to hear something like this pop up from San Francisco, but then again that city ain't what it used to be and could definitely use a rebellion and shakeup in my opinion so I'm into it. Besides the highly spirited vocalists and devilish guitar talent, feedback and reverb are also used as instruments themselves. I think the idea is to distort and disorient, and they are VERY good at it.
The pitfall I ran into with this album is that it is so against the grain and grating at all times that there's very little shock value left by the time you get to the third song. I did appreciate the vocal switch up in songs like "Damaged Goods," that was a good surprise and one of my favorite vocal performances on the album. I just had trouble with some of the songs just not grabbing in a way where I would remember them if I heard them again. The first track I heard, which was "Blowin Smoke," did make a huge impression because it introduced me to all the ingredients in the album that I loved. I appreciate the aesthetic and direction of the music. I love that it is obnoxious and unhinged. I like how cooky off-world feedback incorporated throughout the album. I even appreciate the raw and untouched nature of the audio production.
Speaking of production, the recording was done by Mack Narragon at The Loveboat in Oakland. I like the treatment of the music, it has a sort of demeanor to it that reminds me of channel flipping, or attempting to tune a very out of date radio. There's tension and frustration and a rebellious nature that was chosen to embrace it instead of fight it. Listeners do have to do some serious digging to make out the lyrics which I understand comes with the genre, but is also a bit of a shame since they are pretty fun and out there in the best kind of way.
This is a great album when you feel like getting in a fight, and I don't really mean a physical one. You could be getting in a fight with yourself to meet a deadline, or fighting a system that is working against you or maybe you're just fighting to get out. I know for sure this album can assist with that. Its aggression at its best asset.
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