Lowlives Unleash Powerful Debut Album Freaking Out

It seems like aeons ago since Lowlives barged into action with their 2017 debut single, Burn Forever. The good news is they didn’t disappear from civilisation. Instead, they used the restraints of the COVID lockdown to create songs for their debut album, Freaking Out.

Lowlives – Freaking Out (Spinefarm Records)

Release Date – 31 May 2024

Words: Brian Boyle

Despite being a relatively fledgling band, West Coast-based Lowlives are a hardy bunch. Nowadays, the thought of playing to two people and sharing a manky squat isn’t the kind of situation that appeals to young bands with aspirations of success.

Lowlives killer debut Freaking Out - The anthems of a new generation.
Lowlives killer debut Freaking Out – The anthems of a new generation.

But that’s where this foursome were in 2018 when they headed out, wet behind the ears, on a winged 13-date UK tour. And with adversity-building character, this band have benefited from that early seasoning to produce gems like the relentless title track, a foot through the floor joyride of abrasive melody and anarchic power. 

That’s followed by Liar, a tune brimming with alternative rock quality. It immediately got me thinking that it’s fantastic songs like these that can provide a catalyst for a new, hungry generation of rock bands.

Granted, we are living in different times. The streaming world gives you the power to choose and switch off when you please, whereas fellow left-of-centre bands like Nirvana, Alice In Chains, Smashing Pumpkins, Bush and Stone Temple Pilots, all major influences on Lowlives, benefited from the medium of MTV where you watched, absorbed and purchased. 

This tune might not be a Smells Like Teen Spirit lift-off moment, but along with the grunge sprinkled Swan Dive, Loser and Out Of Step, they’re conceiving tracks every bit as resonating.

Another certified banger is Getting High On Being Low, where they show how punk pop should be done, and main man Lee Downer singing like he has six lungs just adds to the delicious mayhem.

The beauty of this band is in the difficulty in pigeonholing them. Their aggression is a constant, but just when you think you have them sussed, they kick you in the shins with a dose of abrasiveness on You Don’t Care. 

You may detect splinters of Industrial Metal here and there, but on top of the controlled madness lies fervent melody that makes everything work.

They do a bit of Foo-Fighting on the instantly likeable Damien and go all Cobain-like on closer Vertigo to round off ten tracks of beautiful noise.

Freaking Out is an album with wide appeal that will prick the ears of many who embrace rock’s many skins.

Lowlives have delivered a killer debut.

Sleeve Notes

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