[10 April 2013]
Every so often a band comes along that reveals the limitations of the lo-fi aesthetic. Melbourne’s Lower Plenty is one such band. Comprised of vocalists and musicians of, to put it nicely, limited skills, the album features watery compositions filled with tuneless singing, languid tempos and a monochromatic sonic palette. There’s plenty of reverb on those vocals, lending an airiness to the sound that would be better served with more underlying muscle. It’s not entirely terrible; “Strange Beast” veers dangerously close to having some momentum, while album closer “Close Enough” manages to parlay its repetitive tunelessness into something almost hypnotic. But “Dirty Flowers” tries to be more Neil Young than Neil Young, with its layered distortion over an otherwise simple acoustic strum, and manages to be simply a discombobulated mess. “How Low Can a Punk Get?”, meanwhile, tries to pass off two-chord strumming and four-beat rhymes as something significant (nice Malcolm X name-drop, kids!). It’s not.