Of all the Aussie bands that are worthy of breaking the US bubble it almost seems odd that Lower Plenty, one of the more languid, almost ramshackle acts is the one that's making a play at the States this year. Their sophomore album, a quiet, though tense affair, is seeing tandem release through Bedroom Suck and Mexican Summer shortly. Picking up pretty much where the slow burn sizzle of their previous album left off, Life/Thrills feels very much like a fly-on-the-wall recording of friends just sitting on the porch and kicking out smoke-swirled tales of melancholy and suburban sprawl. That thread of melancholy is the tie that binds these songs together and it keeps the tone calm and easily enjoyed but with just the right bit of squeamishness making the teeth grind unconsciously. The record picks up as it progresses, building to what I'd consider the band's best track, "Lots of Lows," a direction I hope the band pursues with future releases. They received tons of acclaim in their native country last year, so maybe its not so surprising that they're ones to hit these shores domestically. Worth the time getting to know Life/Thrills but as with many gems it may take more than a few listens to really find the shine beneath the shade.
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