Sydney’s Low Life return with a much-anticipated (and long threatened) second full-length album, Downer Edn (read: Edition). Downer Edn sonically and lyrically communicates every minute of the half-decade since the band’s debut stunner, Dogged, made a nasty mark on the punk landscape in 2014. Having been turned down at the United States border, just as they were scheduled to embark on a national tour with Iceage and more, the band were forced to return home. Downer Edn reveals and unwinds what life’s ride brought next; from institutions, crime, tragedy, loss to marriage, family and love — it’s all there.
Today, Stereogum unveils lead single “The Pitts“. On the single, Low Life explain, “We start out pure, naive and enthusiastic on and about life – then it has its way with us.”
Insofar as Australian noise-punk is concerned, Downer Edn not only shatters the boundaries applied by that descriptor, it does so with the lushest attack conceivable. And like their (admitted) influence enigmatic Ohio legends of obscurity, V-3, never has the f-bomb been (repeatedly) sung in such a believable and poetic manner. The visceral pounding throughout transforms their inspiration (desperation, neuroses, trauma, survival, rehab, hooliganism, violence, healing, hope, rejuvenation, JG Ballard’s fiction, and their hometown of Sydney’s full architectural scope) from the intangible to the tangible.
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 of Oily Boys and Orion was brought in to reinforce the thick wall of guitars, whilst fifth member Yuta Matsumura (Orion) joined later to free Tolman up as a dedicated frontman for live duties. The hours of studio work have resulted in making the band sound more confident and fully realized, reaching for a sound that was perhaps unattainable 5 years prior. Downer Edn is a complex proposition and remains a dark blast of an album. Expansive and cohesive, yet shimmering and brutal; something they can be proud to call a definitive statement.
Downer Edn is out on March 15th on Goner Records in North America, Alter Records in Europe and Cool Death in Australia. For more info and to pre-order, go here.