As reviled as the term “supergroup” has become, sometimes the quality just speaks for itself. Bands like this will occasionally find themselves comprised of such a watertight group that anything other than a home run just seems inconceivable; it doesn’t happen often, but it definitely can. For Lowlives though, that’s not exactly the case on first glance. Sure, Lee Villain of The Defiled fronting is a good start, especially for a band who never got the love they deserved, but not only do further members of No Devotion and The Ataris come across as incredibly mismatched simply from a sonic perspective, but neither represent the highest paragon of quality.
Credit where it’s due though – Burn Forever is the sort of sharp shock of a debut EP that’ll be instrumental in getting this band off the ground, and so much of that is down to pure simplicity. The flashes of post-hardcore on the more vicious Thieves set the foundations for further paths, but for the most part, Lowlives are as impactful of a straight-up hard rock band as its possible to be. They’ve already got a killer first single in the title track, coasting on ragged but powerful riffs and Villain’s effortless wry charisma. Sure, the acoustic version tacked on to the EP’s end might lack a lot of the sleaze that really does feel imperative to its success, but as a simple means to bulk out this release, it’s hardly unwelcome.
As for the rest, Lowlives are more or less pulling from the same source, but it still works for them, albeit with not quite as much firepower. Still, with the meatier breakdown towards the end of Black Hole and the deeper shades of darkness that comprise Thieves, this is hardly a basic or boring take on hard rock. Lowlives feel vital, taking an admittedly well-worn genre and giving it some more juice and edge, to the point where a full-length (or at least more material) is actually an exciting proposition.
So while Lowlives aren’t exactly breaking new ground or anything, Burn Forever is the sort of debut that hits the ground the running in nearly the best way possible. For a band who’s only been together just over a year, there’s an impressive amount of focus and chemistry here, something that’s only set to improve further and become even tighter over time. It’s definitely worth getting onboard now; you could be hearing a lot more from Lowlives very soon.
For fans of: The Defiled, Heaven’s Basement, Hell Is For Heroes
Words by Luke Nuttall
‘Burn Forever’ by Lowlives is released on 31st August.