Low Value - Recharge (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Low Value

Recharge (2010)


Low Value's name is a fairly typical jab of self-deprecation for the style of punk they play. The question is, does it accurately quantify the worth of their full-length, Recharge? Well, yeah.

Recharge is 10 tracks of slightly technical skatepunk that's sort of like a far more convoluted No Use for a Name, or post-Twisted by Design Strung Out without the melodic brilliance ("My Shame"). The Slovenian act certainly sound competent and energized, and there's plenty of shredding, but there's nothing here we haven't heard done before and far better.

The themes here are generally in the realm of relationship troubles, searching for a proverbial something or longing for home. When they're matched with a little bit of melodic yearning and dynamism, it works somewhat ("On the Road"). But their ideas too often feel stagnant and dragging, and that's only exemplified in unnecessarily long tracks like ballad "All Alone" (6:34!) and earlier, faster track "Call to Arms" (7:40!!).

The vocals can fall a little flat and uninteresting, too, like with "Inside of a Monster", which has some ill-advised whispering vocals and nü-metal moments. The shortest track, "Burning Down" is kind of a cool Raised Fist-type hardcore song when the verses are going, but there's definitely some more nü-metal bounce in here, unfortunately.

The aforementioned "All Alone" only has a few redeemable moments–and those are the super radio-friendly ones. "I'm Sorry" is a better example of what the band should strive for: more tight and compact, simpler ideas with a few well-placed solos and a solid forbidden beat.

Judging by some awkward phrases here and there ("Pain of almost constant"), English may not be these guys' first language, but it doesn't excuse their album for trying to be this outwardly complex, epic version of skatepunk that's really just sort of boring as a result.

[album preview]
My Shame

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