Lower Automation – Shoebox Companion

Two years ago Chicago trio Lower Automation seared and pleasured ears with their debut EP Maps.  Now the band returns with its successor in Shoebox Companion and six tracks which also scorch, disorientate, and simply excite the senses and imagination. In some ways it is more of the same invention found in that first release pushed and taken to a whole new plateau but in far more avenues it is a new rabid animal of sound and enterprise.

Creating a ravenous spiral of math punk and rabid noise which never takes a moment to relax its tempest, the threesome of guitarist/vocalist Derek Allen, bassist Brian Sutton, and drummer Matt Walen use bare seconds to infest ears and peace. As proven by both EPs, it is a welcome invasion which despite its individuality, an essence escalated within Shoebox Companion, breeds part resemblance to a feral mix of Dillinger Escape Plan, At The Drive In, and mclusky.

Shoebox Companion opens up with Coax, a track immediately luring attention though there is nothing gentle or gradual about its initial sonic trespass. The corkscrew of guitar which instantly erupts is seductively violent as too the rampant rhythms which join it. Sutton’s bass is a grumbling joy while Allen’s subsequent vocals are mellow and charming against the building meshuga of sound.  It is all though just the trigger to greater disorientation in sound and imagination as the track creatively veers this way and that like a dervish; every one of its spiky wires adding to the pleasure.

It is a glorious start kept in full charge by next up Cattle Prod Hypochondriac. Allen’s voice and guitar ravages the senses from the song’s first breath yet it is an infectious violation driven by the rapier swings of Walen and the ever compelling guttural rumble of Sutton’s bass. Discord and dissonance flood every turn, the tangle of sound as unpredictable as it is virulent across two and a half minutes of inventive chaos.

Tethered has a touch more control to its maelstrom as harmonic strife and relative calm align within the song’s sonic chasm. The irritable incursion of rhythms equally makes for a tempering contrast to the intoxicated antics of the wailing guitar; it all uniting for increasing layers of magnetism before 30 Second Song provides just that but a half minute of carnal magnificence with more than a whiff of early Birthday Party to it.

The final pair of Phil and Phyllis Philler and Swing Flesh ensures the EP’s high never dipped. The first has the body bouncing as the senses cower before its citric assault, both eagerly taking a breath within the song’s post rock nurtured lulls which bring the imagination further into play whilst its successor is a visceral fingering of psyche and anatomy. Its skeletal dance is irresistible, the rhythmic animation addictive, and sonic mutation bewitching; the perfect end to a moment of creative voracity.

Lower Automation powerfully announced its arrival with the psychotic frenzy of the acclaimed Maps, now they have not only underlined their presence but declared themselves an essential proposition with one of the year’s musts in Shoebox Companion.

Shoebox Companion is available now @ https://lowerautomation.bandcamp.com/album/shoebox-companion

http://lowerautomation.com/    https://www.facebook.com/lowerautomation   https://twitter.com/lowerautomation

Pete RingMaster 13/08/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Slimboy – Sail On Sailor

Returning from a seven year or so long hiatus n 2017 re-energised and with an even keener touch in writing and sound, Swiss punks rockers Slimboy quickly released their album Sail On Sailor. Now their fifth full-length gets a deserved re-release through Niro Music; a new push sure to draw host of new eager attention the way of the Basel-based trio.

Formed at the start of the millennium, Slimboy has released four praise luring albums, been signed to a major label, toured the world, and strongly hit the charts in their homeland. The band’s break between 2009 and 2016 saw its members busy with other projects but at the same time it seemed to fully refresh and give new energy to their Slimboy heart. Off of a recent tour with The Ataris, the threesome of vocalist/bassist Joel Bader, guitarist Sven Wallwork, and drummer Silvio Spadino has now re-thrust their latest album at ears and the Mike Herrera (MXPX) recorded offering more than warrants the new impetus with its eclectic body and intimately emotive heart; its new outing coinciding with the outfit’s European tour with US pop-punkers, MEST.

Album opener Falling Apart instantly and firmly coaxes ears with the solo lure of Bader’s vocals. In no time though the whole band jumps in with scything rhythms and boisterously enticing hooks and riffs. A cutting response to being wronged, the song continues to attack and roar, every passing half minute bringing new twists and imagination. It is a great start with an air of familiarity which does it no harm and is swiftly backed up and matched by the just as potent Heart’s All Gone. With something of US outfit The Cooters about it, the track immediately hits its prime roar, adrenaline and affirmation of feelings fuelling its thick and bold enterprise.

Inspired by a fan at their first show after returning, Let It Go is an infectious stroll with a web of hooks which just relentlessly hit the spot. Bass and drums create a tasty nagging as persistent as it is mercurial in its attack whilst guitar and vocals colour the heart of the emotion bred encounter. Embracing a weave of rock bred flavours the song makes it easy for ears and personal thoughts to be involved with its presence before the melancholic but uplifting Sorrows fully grabbed attention and fresh plaudits.

With pop nurtured virulence to its lively bounce Whatever had keen reactions animated next while Believe In You shares its own individual pop and rock collage as its acoustic beginnings evolve into a rich holler. The first of the two is a re-recorded track from one of their earlier albums and relishes the new creative colour given to its pop punk. Its successor was inspired by the Beach Boys song Sail On Sailor which also influenced the album’s title and just hooks ears and appetite with its imaginative body and mix of flavours.

Downfall is another simply contagious track which got under the skin to take favourite track status, it too holding a shade of familiarity to its inescapable and memorable persuasion. It was an album highlight easily matched by the more feral blaze of Freak; the song involving metal and hard rock hues in its riveting punk drama.

Concluded by the ferocious Hagfish-esque stomp of So-Called Unity and the personal emotion fuelled Life/Death (Ghost Of You), the album ends on a lofty high. For us it is at its very best across the last quartet of songs but from start to finish the album thoroughly engages and pleasures. If an album was deserving of a second chance at enticing a far bigger audience, this is it.    

Sail on Sailor is available now via Niro Music.

Upcoming Tour Dates with MEST:

August 14 – UK, London, Underworld; 15 – UK, Glasgow, Broadcast; 16 – UK, Scunthorpe, The Lincoln Imp; 17 – UK, Bridgewater, Cobblestones; 18 – UK, Bolton, Alma Inn, 19 – UK Stafford, Redrum; 20 – UK, Sheffield, Corporation.

http://slimboy.ch/   https://www.facebook.com/slimboyband/

Pete RingMaster 13/08/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright