25 Jun 2024
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Slow Rage - Album Review: The Low-Down

14 Oct 2021 // A review by River Tucker

Every once in a while a release comes along that is just oozing with originality and that’s the case with Slow Rage’s debut album The Low-Down. Eleven tracks of pure musical goodness integrate a number of diverse styles that you cannot help but appreciate. From the low down and dirty guitar-driven alternative rock of opening track Chickentown to the raw ska edginess of Face Down on the Tracks and the high-energy punk in Proof of Life, Slow Rage kicks it into gear without any due delay.

There’s a real nice live sound to this lo-fi album that makes it highly listenable.

Perhaps it’s the lack of pretence of the slightly more Kiwi-sounding tracks such as The Mirror and Anticipation, showcasing Max Hill’s vocal abilities and rock steady guitar riffing that gives their music added depth. Or maybe it’s drummer Sam Hatley’s intense syncopation and almost free-form style at times that makes this album very effective. These nuances mean Slow Rage have found their very own musical niche.

My favourite tracks have to be the softer more ballad like offerings, such as structurally perfect Metanoia, chilled-out Fade Away and outro track Cosmos, with its jazzier feel, poignant piano passages and heartfelt vocals. The bass line breaking through in places is also a nice touch.

The stand out track has to be JAFAS, which as the name suggests, throws cold water in the face of Aucklanders. Drumming throughout this mad track is impressive while a modal change shifts into an awesome middle eight before the epic grand finale. There’s a very youthful sound to this track and the band overall that hopefully won’t be lost as the duo progresses.

A few small issues sometimes detract from the overall musicality of this album. Vocals sit too proud of the mix while over-exuberance on the drums creates timing issues in places. A more clinical percussive approach and some additional mastering would make this fantastic release a much more commercially viable option.

This two-piece from Auckland sure know how to get the party started.

Rating: ( 3 / 5 )
 

Releases

The Low-Down
Year: 2021
Type: Album

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