Lowsunday are a band from Pittsburgh, PA. I find this odd because
most of my extended family lives in Pittsburgh and they all
seem unaware that music (post-Beatles) even exists! I always
assume that this attitude is universal in the region, but obviously
i am mistaken. My relatives must just be clueless.
At any rate, Elesgiem was released on Projekt
records, home of all things goth and darkwave in America. Home,
also, to Floridian shoegazer band Mira,
whom i like a lot. Lowsunday remind me more of Mira than they
do of, say, Black Tape For A Blue Girl. That is, they are a
loud guitar band with only the slightest hint of gothness.
They do, however, revel in the 80's, something which i am all
for. Lowsunday sound like the last album they listened to, and
the one on which they based their sound, is Crocodiles
by Echo & The Bunnymen. I never really got into E&tB, but
i can recognize a similarity here.
Shane Sahene, the vocalist, has a dark but rich voice, and
he really pushes it in a way that reminds me of Ian McCulloch.
Sahene and co-guitarist Shawn Bann play their guitars loudly
but with large doses of chorus and delay to give a rich lush
sound. Bassist Bobby Spell plays insistently and somewhat melodically,
driving the songs along while still adding fullness to them,
and A.T. Vish is capable of drumming in either an understated
or a "rawkin out" fashion as the songs require.
All of the musicains are talented, and the song writing is
pretty good too. The album starts out with the rocking Wallpaper
Room, which sounds like a lost track from The Cult's classic
Love album. She Follows Rain continues
the rock, this time adding some nice echo to the voice for an
extra creepy effect.
On Zuff they mix it up a little, adding more layers
to the sound and the melody and coming up with something that
sounds a lot like Modern English. No, not I Melt With You
era, but rather their darker earlier work, like Sixteen Days
or something off of Mesh And Lace. I really like
Somewhat later in the album, Lowsunday turn in the magnificent
Shine.... This is their poppiest number. Guitars chime,
Sahene bellows, bass thumps, and drums thud all to an undeniable
catchy melody. It is their least dark moment, and it really
There are few moments that clunk a little on the disc. Not
too many, but just a few. On Daystar the drums are weighed
down by a thick dubby echo that seems totally out of place.
In general, this song is a sappy ballad that does not fit in
with the rest of the album. The songwriting is unusually weak
here. I wonder if Sahene wrote this for his grilfriend or something
after she nagged "I'm not in your songs! Why don't you write
love songs like Michael Bolton?" Or something like that. Anyway,
it really sticks out to me.
The only other wierd spot comes at the very end of the disc.
Disassembly is moving along nicely, rocking out, and
then suddenly in minute 9 of the song, the guitars are lost
under a wave of strings. I was sitting on the couch reading
when i first listened to the disc, and i had to get up and go
to the stereo to see if somehow it had shifted to some classical
album i might have had in. But it didn't.... This ending just
boggles my mind. Why? Why strings on an otherwise guitar album?
If the disc had ended with squealing feedback it would have
been more appropriate. Who knows!
On the whole, this is a solid disc. If you enjoy the early
music by Echo & The
Bunnymen, The Cult,
or Modern English, then you will enjoy this album. If you like
Bethany Curve but wish
that they rocked harder, then you'll be pleased.
However, if that type of music doesn't do anything for you,
then this won't either.