Lowtalker
The Marathon


3.5
great

Review

by Davey Boy STAFF
September 19th, 2012 | 48 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Misery Signals + Comeback Kid + Living With Lions + Peter Wolf Crier = Lowtalker

Tracing the lineage of Lowtalker would be much easier with a diagram, but the Wisconsin-based quartet certainly bring together an interesting array of influences. Truth be told, much of the confusion – and in turn, fascination - has to do with Canadian born singer/guitarist Stu Ross. After establishing himself in critically acclaimed metalcore maestros Misery Signals, Ross jumped ship to pop-punk outfit Living With Lions, before recently crossing over to hardcore band Comeback Kid. You with me? But wait, it gets better. In Comeback Kid, Ross has replaced guitarist Casey Hjelmberg, who just happens to be Ross’ six-string wielding sidekick in Lowtalker. Also pulling double duty for Comeback Kid and Lowtalker is bassist/vocalist Matt Keil. Got it? Good… But there’s still more! On their excellent 2010 debut EP ‘People Worry About Everything’, drumming duties fell to Misery Signals’ Branden Morgan. Clearly, more diversity was required, so out went Morgan and in came Brian Moen; drummer for indie-folk duo Peter Wolf Crier!

Now that you’re completely confused, you may as well throw all of that out the window, since Lowtalker sound very little like most of the aforementioned groups! Playing a brand of gruff hard-hitting melodic punk, Lowtalker combine the sound of 90s punk rockers Hot Water Music and Face to Face with some of the genres current mainstays such as Red City Radio and Polar Bear Club. On six track release ‘The Marathon EP’, this is apparent from the get-go with opening couplet ‘Like Minnows’ and ‘Tension’ supplying the genre’s typically sturdy backbone of a rhythm section, while allowing an exhilarating dual guitar attack to provide both gritty riffs and melodic leads. Meanwhile, the gruff vocals of both Ross and Keil deliver choruses which are deceptive earworms, a trait which continues to surprise as the dual vocal dynamic kicks in later on ‘Prescriptions’ and closer ‘Chances’.

If anything, the twenty minutes worth of ‘The Marathon EP’ stumbles at its two heaviest tracks ‘Barstow’ and ‘The Weight of An Anvil’, with the sound here verging on the derivative. The positive aspect of even these tunes, however, is that the quartet are so accomplished at their craft, that they aren’t afraid to let their music do the talking with extended instrumental sections. In comparison to their slightly superior previous EP, the song-writing has marginally improved with the expert use of mood on a track such as the aptly named ‘Tension’ proving that Lowtalker are now much more in sync with each other. Unfortunately, this does tend to limit the flashy and anthemic flourishes which not only captured the attention on their debut, but also provided a breath of fresh air first time around.

If one had to conclude what Lowtalker’s greatest strength was, it is their ability to naturally merge that always tricky combination of in-your-face roughness with caught-in-your-head melodies. Rarely does either side of the equation totally envelop the other, and kudos must therefore go to the EPs production which deftly balances heaviness and accessibility. So while one might cast aside the quartet’s past projects from a sound and genre perspective, it is not only clear that Lowtalker’s individual members put their years of diverse experience to good use, but are also up for the challenge of working as a unit to produce a new slant on an established genre. Here’s hoping that they can somehow find the time between playing ‘Ring a Ring o’ Roses’ with their already established bands to someday release a fully realized Lowtalker LP.

Recommended Tracks: Like Minnows, Tension & Prescriptions.



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user ratings (21)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
September 19th 2012


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Just as much a “Hey, this band exists. You should especially check out their debut EP” review, as an individual recommendation.

And if you’re trying to recall where the band got their name from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFRoXoh6aks

They're streaming the EP here: http://www.absolutepunk.net/artists/showlink.php?do=showdetails&l=49122

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
September 19th 2012


4442 Comments


I love that Seinfeld episode. George's short-lived occupation as a hand model were definitely the funnier scenes.

MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
September 19th 2012


4507 Comments


she was a lowtalker.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
September 19th 2012


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

As much as the series was always promoted as being "about nothing", they stuffed so many sub-plots into such a meagre running time.

Maybe I should have inderted a "puffy" reference into the Summary!

sniper
September 19th 2012


19075 Comments


came in here to say "seinfeld reference?" but i was glad to see it had already been addressed.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
September 19th 2012


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Now just waiting for someone to reference the band or their music!

renegadestrings
September 19th 2012


1450 Comments


the intro was excellent. might look this up because misery signals seinfeld

ChuckyTruant
September 19th 2012


15722 Comments


Saw Misery Signals in the summary thing on the front page. Now I must check this out.

Digging: Queensryche - Operation: Mindcrime

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
September 19th 2012


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm glad someone kept up with that intro. Maybe I should have thrown a ... + Seinfeld into the Summary!

"a little repetitive". Yeah, I'd agree with that. Put it this way, I'm glad they have yet to record an LP, because 5 or 6 tracks is about right for them atm. I definitely prefer their debut.

Careful Chuck, I wouldn't expect some progressive kind of metalcore, if I was you.

LifeAsAChipmunk
September 19th 2012


4854 Comments


I feel like I've heard this band before.

Holy fuck @RIYL, who knew davey listened to so much punx!?!?

ChuckyTruant
September 19th 2012


15722 Comments


Okey dokey. Thanks for the heads up. Ace review btw

MMX
September 19th 2012


4829 Comments


I need to get this

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
September 19th 2012


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

That's because you have Chippy... You have a sound-off for their debut EP. Man, it was only 7 weeks ago, so your memory must be inferior to mine... Which is saying something.

Thanks Chuck.

It's not a need MMX... But you should "want" to.

XingKing
September 20th 2012


10843 Comments


This band sounds identical to Polar Bear Club and Make Do and Mend. That's a very negative thing in my eyes. Nice review anyway.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
September 20th 2012


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Those comparisons are correct... Although it should be noted that it is more early MD&M (not their most recent LP). So yeah, if you are not a fan of those bands, there's probably not much for you here.

LifeAsAChipmunk
September 20th 2012


4854 Comments


Yeah Davey, I have a hard time keeping track of all the new stuff I find. Especially after that ratings purge, I can't find remember most of the bands I added on this site.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
September 20th 2012


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Not good Chippy... Especially when you apparently liked the debut EP. Maybe you need to slow down a little. Just a thought.

LifeAsAChipmunk
September 20th 2012


4854 Comments


I've slowed down considerably in the last few weeks because of school. I haven't listened to a new album in like 3 days!!!

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
September 20th 2012


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hold the presses. LOL.

LifeAsAChipmunk
September 20th 2012


4854 Comments


Yeah I was a bit too eager on the last release. It was def nothing better than a 3.



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