You have seen those scenes in movies where people are strapped in front of a screen and bombarded with rapid brainwashing images; finally succumbing to the kaleidoscope of ravenous suggestiveness. Listening to Maps, the debut EP from US experimental punks Lower Automation, is like a sonic version of that; a proposition gripping the psyche with its quick fire and voracious onslaught of mathcore and noise rock trespasses. The difference is that Maps is a welcome infestation of ears and imagination which with every listen becomes more and more tenaciously seductive.
Hailing from Chicago, the seeds of Lower Automation begin with experimental/post-rock band Counterfeit I and Derek Allen who came from the band to form the new “kinetic frenzy” posing as Lower Automation that is about to invade the rock scene. His former project found potent success which, from Maps alone, it is easy to suggest the threesome of Brian Sutton, Matt Walen, and Derek has the potential to eclipse.
Recorded with Sanford Parker (Pelican, Wovenhand), Maps instantly entangles the senses and a quickly eager appetite in the discord fuelled enterprise and sonic dissonance of opener Ring. It is a striking web of imagination which flirts and picks at ears with unpredictable and incessantly hungry dynamics; a creative dilemma for the senses which plays like the mutated offspring of a liaison between At The Drive In, Devo, Wire, and The Dillinger Escape Plan. Fair to say though that the song quickly breeds its own unique character and devilment as frenetic bursts align with, and become tempered by, ‘mellower’ flirtatious passages as song and band reveals new sides to their rebellious adventure. It is when the creative ‘psychosis’ breaks loose though that lustful passions are especially sparked and further the track’s attempts to steal the whole show.
The excellent start though is more than matched by the band’s new single Decorated; the song swiftly showing itself another invasive tapestry of rhythmic agitation and raw sonic virulence. There is a much catchier almost pop element to the song too, the likes of Baddies and We Are The Physics coming to mind at times, though again as it warps into distorted spatial atmospherics Lower Automation show the fullness of their imagination and an invention which is all their own.
Break Room Curators offers a more noise rock sculpted venture; its body and features slightly more fluid in their infectious flow than certainly the first song but still casts a dark and sinister, not forgetting infectiously flowing, tirade of off-kilter and intrusive discordance in voice and melodic toxicity amidst scything rhythms. The track does lack a certain spark that its predecessors irresistibly carries but it still leaves enjoyment high and ears eager to devour more, which the following caustic maelstrom of The Cartographer feeds impressively. The track is a maze of sonic paradoxes and melodic toxins with an emotive angst to match as it rummages through the psyche, blisters on the senses, and fascinates the imagination.
Closing with the initially hellacious exploits of Scissor Lapses, the EP offers a final glimpse into the creative craft and aberrant imagination of Lower Automation. The song proceeds to explore a cacophonous and demandingly addictive landscape of sweeping hooks and inviting grooves within an ever evolving exploration of rabid sound and unpredictability; finally leaving on a senses invading sonic clamour.
It is a fine end to a thrilling debut from Lower Automation; a release which has certain familiar and welcome traits but is a whole new psychotic frenzy of invention ready to infect an as yet unsuspecting rock world.
Maps is released April 1st @ https://lowerautomation.bandcamp.com
Upcoming US Tour Dates:
3/5 – Skeletunes Lounge | Fort Wayne, IN
3/12 – The Oasis | Grayslake, IL
4/8 – The Refuge | Pana, IL
4/10 – Bremen Cafe | Milwaukee, WI
4/13 – The Rockery | Wyandotte, MI
4/14 – Buzzbin | Canton, OH
4/15 – Spacebar | Columbus, OH
4/16 – Crofoot | Pontiac, MI
Pete RingMaster 28/03/2016
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
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