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

Lower Automation – Maps

lowerautomation_2016_RingMasterReview

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.

lower_automation_maps_cover_RingMasterReviewRecorded 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

https://www.facebook.com/lowerautomation
Pete RingMaster 28/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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