Be Kind, Rewind: Review of The Lowered album “Crayons over Scalding Rocks”

By Ted Jamison /// Staff Writer 

My ears were continually snagged by the asymmetrical vocals.”

Mission Statement:

Alright, let’s get some things sorted. I’m not here to lecture you on Pitchfork’s “Best New Music,” nor will I sit here and recite what I just read on Stereogum. My goal: pure, D.I.Y. archaeology. Let’s kick dust.

The Tape: 

In the words of Bridgetown Records’ website description, The Lowered, “Paints a vantage point of a world that is almost undetectably surreal.” This is exactly what I heard in The Lowered’s November release, Crayons Over Scalding Rocks. The listener is presented with the makings of a dense soundscape, stripped skeletal by lo-fi production quality. A tight skeleton. This is a compliment…it’s a good tape. My ears were continually snagged by the asymmetrial vocals. Particularly evident in “Scores of a Dove,” The Lowered boasts a vocal timbre that flounders on a spectrum between the straight lines of Panda Bear and voice-cracking warbles of Dave Longstreth. They pair well with the tapes’ sparse, psychedelics. “Creeping Like the Frog” features pleasant, unadorned acoustic guitar over terminally-chill electronic production essentially the best iphone “alarm” you’ve never heard. “Everywhere I Go” flares and throbs with bristling, relentless drums and a choir of vocals that shoves all the deafening intensity of Grizzly Bear’s “Sun is In Your Eyes” into a no frills package.

Rating: 3.8/5

The Label:

Bridgetown Records is Kevin. Kevin is Bridgetown.

As label-head, Kevin Greenspot says, “I’m just one guy, and Bridgetown is simply a collection of music by people that I’ve formed relationships with by running it for the past seven years.” Kevin prides himself on the intimacy of Bridgetown’s roster. They are more than artists, they are his friends and Kevin attests, “Bridgetown exists so I can share the work of people who affect me on more than a purely musical level.” In a city as vast and as socially splintered as Los Angeles, the moves that Bridgetown is making are essential to fostering the DIY community. As an added bonus, the label employs refreshingly cohesive product design got those j-cards on point!

 

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