Low Culture - Low Culture [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Low Culture

Low Culture [7-inch] (2012)

Dirt Cult Records/Dead Broke Rekerds/Rad Girlfriend Records/Drunken Sailor

Let's not beat around the bush, this single is likely to end up at the top of my 2012 singles list unless something pretty spectacular comes out between the time of me writing this and Dec. 31. I'd also go as far as saying that if Low Culture releases an album this year then it stands a pretty good chance of placing high in my 2012 album list too.

Okay, time to rewind and tell you something about this little beauty. Low Culture includes a pair of Shang-a-Langs, one of whom also happens to currently be in the Marked Men. That information alone should set your ears perking up in anticipation at the four tracks on this slab-o'-vinyl. However, despite the quality of output offered by those two bands, it would be wrong to think of this as just another offshoot band or an attempt to cash in on the Shang-a-Lang name. That is because Low Culture has more than enough about it to stand head and shoulders above many other bands currently plying a trade under the prestigious banner of punk/garage/snotty pop-punk or, for that fact, general music.

What the band has going for it is a wealth of tuneage, cranked out in a straightforward manner that also lacks any major similarity across the four tracks, and therein lays the reasons why this band should end up being one of those that many revere and talk fondly of: this seven-inch doesn't get stale; it lacks an expiry date. If these four songs can be expanded three times over then an album of supreme quality is to be expected. Hell, even if there are eight quality songs and four that come in just short then it will be an awesome release.

Enough of my sycophantic ramblings: "Georgia" opens up the single with a lack of fanfare but doesn't take long to worm its way into your head, with a wonderful guitar sound and a slightly strained vocal that provides two minutes of smiles. "I Didn't Know" follows suit and as a marginally slower song, there is no lack of appeal and catchiness to be found and it certainly got my feet tapping at my desk. "Nervous Wreck," for me, is the gem here, as well as being the shortest song on the single. It's got more of a thrashy punk feel and a touch of the Southern California punk sound from the early 1980s to it. "Travel Song" is probably my favorite cut from a lyrical perspective. The lines "Don't wanna live for Saturday / Don't wanna piss my life away / I've already got regrets / Don't wanna pile them up now" are both fun to sing along to and also quite anti-punk in their lack of nihilistic sentiment--almost reflecting a maturity that comes from enduring frequent hangovers.

This release is brought to you courtesy of the fine folks at Dirt Cult Records/Dead Broke Rekerds/Rad Girlfriend Records/Drunken Sailor Records. All four labels have a fairly solid reputation for bringing great music to the kids (and those with the mind of a kid but the body of a middle aged man) and this will only serve to enhance the standing of all involved here. Currently this EP is available for free download from the Bandcamp pages of some of the labels, but the physical seven-inch should be available in early May according to sources.