Lower Automation – Shoebox Companion (2018) REVIEW

There is a frighteningly slippery slope if you allow yourself to enjoy just one treacherous note of djent but, if you pad the grim reality of mathcore with noise rock aesthetics and avoid chugs at all cost there is something to be said for the wilderness explored within the frantic guitar work that drives bands like Chicago’s Lower Automation. Consider them a mid-90’s noise rock influenced take on late 90’s At the Drive-In with a healthy obsession with modern day skronk n’ roll guitar. This second EP is more frantic and way, way less post-hardcore boppin’ than ‘Maps’ (2016). I dunno if they’re more pissed off or just high on some newfangled funk but ‘Shoebox Companion’ feels like a natural progression.

As much as I’d like to namedrop like, These Arms are Snakes or Fugazi, wipe my hands on my pants and leave… ‘Shoebox Companion’ has more in common with Drive Like Jehu, The Jesus Lizard, and even then I’m not really effectively communicating the right skronking fiddle-core/Daughters mania they drive their tunes with. Likewise vocalist Derek has a little early Cedric Bixler-Zavala in his throat and a capable grasp of both noise rock freak-outs and mathcore electricity on guitar. I was into it, listenable and impressive twitch-rock; I couldn’t help but think if they chilled out a bit and wrote a noise rock album it’d be pretty incredible. An easy recommend for fans that read between the lines of Dillinger Escape Plan and Mars Volta.


Artist Lower Automation
Type EP
Released July 27, 2018
BUY/LISTEN on Lower Automation’s Bandcamp! Follow Lower Automation on Facebook
Genre Mathcore,
Noise Rock,

Nestled on the schism. 3.25/5.0

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