Fireworks

Lowlands - 'Beyond' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     February 27, 2013    
 
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I’m far from certain who this album is aimed at.

My musical tastes cover I wide spectrum of styles and I have had reviews of albums by both Kelly Clarkson and Disturbed featured in the same issue of the magazine. Sometimes however, I have to concede that some styles do not fall inside that spectrum.

Do you like The Levellers? Or The Pogues? Christy Moore? How about Leonard Cohen? Just some of the artists that immediately come to mind after 2 or 3 spins of the Lowlands CD, ‘Beyond’. I actually don’t mind The Levellers and find them to be a perfect festival band but can’t say I have any kind of affinity for any of the other aforementioned artists.

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The album is produced by ex Soul Asylum keyboard player Joey Huffman and features contributions from musicians who play accordion, harmonica, banjo, cello, double bass and lap steel, another indication of how much is going on. If I hadn’t any press info or sleeve notes I would never have guessed that the band were essentially Italian, though singer/songwriter Edward Abbiati was actually British born. Half of the CD’s 10 tracks are laid back to say the least and Abbiati’s part spoken approach to singing brings Leonard Cohen to mind, monotonously grating and tough at times to cope with. ‘Hail Hail’ and ‘Lovers & Thieves’ are the up-tempo Pogues-like work-outs while ‘Waltz In Time’ and ‘Down On New Street’ have the partial Celtic influences that make me think of The Levellers. ‘Homeward Bound’ and ‘Fragile Man’ drag far too much and it is difficult to keep from forwarding to the next track. Huffman’s poor production doesn’t help to ease the pain and when the first song ‘Angel Visions’ started I was struggling to believe the album had actually been produced at all.

It seems Lowlands will play anywhere and everywhere, from pavements to pubs to jails to theatres, in front of 2 people or 2,000 people. I’ll be checking the band’s 2013 touring schedule so I can be somewhere else and I’m really glad I had other material to listen to this month. Luckily I’m a coffee drinker because ‘Beyond’ just isn’t my cup of tea: and I’m far from certain who this album is aimed at. Perhaps the Reviews Editor knows?

Dave Bott

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PJS said:

...
I was hoping you would be able to identify a target audience yourself, Dave....

My demo listen to this album before passing it to you to review certainly gave me the impression that some readers of Fireworks and visitors to Rocktopia would like it...

Paul
 
February 26, 2013
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