Low Culture – Places to Hide LP
Second album from Portland-by-way-of-New-Mexico Dirtnap favorites! Low Culture features members of Shang-A-Lang and Marked Men, splitting the sonic difference between the two—scrappy, melodic, and sometimes jangly garage-punk that is fast, catchy, and high-energy-as-hell, but also thoughtful. Since releasing their debut LP Screens, which quickly sold out its initial pressing and was well-received, a lot has been going on in Low Culture’s world. Most of the band has relocated from Las Cruces, NM to Portland, OR, with the last member soon to follow. They’ve released 7-inches on Dirtnap, Dead Broke, and La-Ti-Da Records. They found a new bass player in Chicago transplant Jay Castaldi (MOTO, Lynyrd’s Innards, more). The band helped form killer local hardcore band Macho Boys. Singer/guitarist Chris Mason has released tons of essential records on his great DirtCult Records label. They’ve done some touring, including high-profile shows
like the Dirtnap Records Anniversary, Awesome Fest, Ottawa Explosion, and others. On Places To Hide, Low Culture nails the delicate balance between the band’s existing strengths and branching out into new territory. Personal, somewhat depressive lyrics still set the mood, although many of the songs also tackle social/political issues more directly than in the past. The production, by Stan Wright at Portland’s Buzz Or Howl Studios (Red Dons, Criminal Code, Pierced Arrows, tons more) accentuates the band’s more “punk” (as opposed to garage) side. All in all, this second album is a perfect follow up to a nearly perfect debut.