Much like math rock, ‘space punk’, as named and practised by local Sydney band Low Life, is quite a misnomer. There’s nothing remotely space related with this band; no concept albums about black holes or the Mir space station, nothing. There’s not even a punk cover of Space Oddity. Rather, the ‘space’ in space punk instead should probably read ‘spaced-out’.
While dipping into shoegaze territory, Low Life’s album Dogging cuts the crap and gets straight to the necessities in life; dogs, rocking out and Rihanna.
Yep, that means Lowlife are trying to combine the trademark slowness of the genre that everyone loves but me, shoegaze, with the famous blitz of punk. (What’s punk without its speed? Napalm Death would be appalled). There are some instances where this crossover co-exists, but it never mixes, always staying as a compound at best. For most of their new record Dogging the songs are either just straight up punk rock songs, or said compound of shoegaze and punk. The songs Speed Ball and DNA are two punk treatises, whilst the tracks bookending the album, Dogging and Friends are two of their shoegaze experiments.
The punk attitude lives on mainly through the terse lyrics and titles of the songs, with most of the songs following Pearl Jam’s Ten in having single-word titles. The dry lyrics and delivery cover such riveting topics like going to the greyhound track (Down at the Dogs) and having the urge to procreate (DNA).
The pedestrian dryness is actually pretty funny. Both DNA and Down at the Dogs both feature spoken passages. In particular, Down at the Dogs has a load of swearing as its bridge, the vocalist letting rip at his failing bets. “Down at the dogs/Down at the hounds” is repeated endlessly in that song in an Australian deadpan that every youth now seems to shun, ruined by lazy Family Guy-esque humour, no doubt.
Dream Machine, which actually sounds like some Buddhist crap blasting out of a Byron Bay beads store, is another notable track. It’s about the vocalist’s lust after Rihanna. “Why can’t I be like that?/Such grace, such poise, such pop-expertise/Amazonian queen” goes the song, “…My mum’s out, my junk’s out/ Rihanna, give me a shout out….Dream Machine”. Some people don’t really follow what’s said at all, but I seem to be the inverse. Low Life isn’t that good, per se, but they’re good fun and have a good attitude.
They’re rocking with the cock out, singing about wanting to bone Rihanna and going to the doggies, like honest Aussie blokes. A lot of youse might find that cringeworthy, but I reckon its grouse. If you’re true blue, then check em out; if you’re a pansy who says ‘ass’ instead of ‘arse’ and don’t think kebabs are any good, then you can piss off.
I don’t have tour dates for you, soz, or actually any information for you really. But I guess if you wanna learn more you could always go down to Wentworth Park in Glebe.
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