by Brittany Nader
Akron-based psych-rock trio The Lowsiders dropped their EP, aptly titled Extended Play, on Jan. 9. The four-track release was mixed and mastered at Akron Recording Company by See Creatures frontman Nate Bucher. While Bucher’s musical duo has psych elements that made him an appropriate choice to capture the sound of fellow fuzzed-out, retro rockers, The Lowsiders’ sound has a raspier, bluesy quality that levels the listener out into a dazed kind of repose.
The EP kicks off with “I Hope You’re Happy,” a three-minute passive-aggressive ditty rich with ‘60s harmonies and guitar reminiscent of The Brian Jonestown Massacre or Pink Floyd’s heavier transitional era.
The song bleeds into “Revolutions,” an eerie, paranoid tune that would be appropriate for the opening credits of a gritty Tarantino film rich with semi-obscure, kitschy retro influences. Cameron VanDerHorst’s drumming carries the tune amidst wavy, swaying guitars and droning vocals.
“Downplay,” the EP’s next track, sounds like a continuation of the second track, although less straightforward psych. The band’s Bob Dylan influence comes into play here, with a sound keenly focused on the song’s lyrical content and composition rather than trippy guitar riffs and experimental vocals.
“Half Of It” blends The Lowsiders’ reality-altering sound with more straightforward rock roots, resulting in both a genre-blending and generation-spanning sound that is, one might assume, a taste of what’s to come if and when the band releases a full-length album. While not as noisy or sonically dense as the EP’s opening track, “Half Of It” contains pleasant harmonies and changes that keep it interesting without layers and layers of distorted instrumentation. There is a break halfway through the song that pushes the audience into a louder, lusher listening experience that is pleasantly unexpected and seamlessly binds the song together.
The Lowsiders, consisting of VanDerHorst, Nathan Edmunds and Matt Warner, debuted the EP’s two singles, “Desire” and “I Hope You’re Happy,” last year. “Downplay” and “Half of It” flesh out the release and demonstrate the diversity and growth of the band’s sound without sacrificing its distinct voice within the Northeast Ohio music scene.
While fans of spacey, psych jams will appreciate the material, there’s strong songwriting and potential in these four tracks that serve as a nice teaser for what is hopefully to come from the local trio.
Learn more about the Lowsiders and hear “Desire” and “I Hope You’re Happy” at www.lowsiders.com. Their next Akron show is at Musica on March 29 with The Got it Got it Need it and Mollo Rilla.
Brittany Nader has been a professional writer and marketer in Akron for the last five years.