Reviews Low Culture Screens

Low Culture


Low Culture packs a punch. Not an angry punch, but one that, upon hearing it, your foot taps and your head bobs. The band, bringing ex members of Shang-A-Lang and Total Jock together, somewhat combines those sounds, but here they are growing in a cleaner sound that is more rooted in the melody. Oh, and they round out the group with Marked Men bassist Joe Ayoub.

The real standouts on their debut, Screens, come in the melodies. “Pills,” “Trying to Quit,” and “Thirty-One” all bring powerful elements where Chris Mason’s vocals pull the melody along with the guitar in a beautiful pitch. These harmonious moments are where the record shines, but Low Culture wisely deviates from pure, delicious catchiness by trading off vocals such as in “Nightmare,” which has an ‘80s punk vibe that contrasts nicely. The songs are written in the same key and the structure is relatively similar, pulling the two styles together smoothly without messing up the record’s cohesion. From here, it quickly goes into a Marked Men-styled “Modern World,” which builds over the rapid-fire musicianship to a big harmony, and ends just as quickly without letting up for catching their breath. Later, “California” pulls in a bit of a beach vibe without overshadowing the 1960s garage core. Throughout the twelve songs various influences are at play but the unifying and overlying style is consistent: call it garage/pop-punk if you must.

The songs all fall within that two-minute range, except for the closer (“Magical Thinking”), and they utilize a similar structure, yet they mix up the parts enough that no two songs sound alike. It doesn’t fall too far from the Shang-A-Lang tree but, as the onesheet says, the production has fewer “blown out recordings.” That’s not to say it’s pop-clean production at all. Mason has a nice rasp in his voice and there’s still a fuzzy tone across the board, but the mix is a lot more subtle, which plays to the melodic focus. Screens is only the second 2013 record I’ve reviewed thus far, but it will very likely place highly come year end.

9.0 / 10Loren
KFAI - Roar of the Underground
Leave a comment



9.0 / 10

9.0 / 10

Share this content
Related features

One Question Interviews Low Culture

Posted Sept. 29, 2019, 9:21 a.m.
What's That Noise?

Chris Mason (Low Culture/Macho Boys – guitar) SPB: What guitar do you play and how did choose it?  Mason: A few years ago I bought ...

One Question Interviews Chris Mason

Posted Nov. 17, 2013, 8:46 a.m.

Chris Mason (Dirt Cult Records, Low Culture) SPB: As somebody who runs his own label, what do you get out of releasing your own records ...

Music Scene Point Blank's Favorites: The Year So Far (July 2013)

Posted July 7, 2013, 12:33 p.m.

It barely seems like yesterday that we compiled our list of the best of 2012, but already the year 2013 is half finished, leaving in ...

KFAI - Root Of All Evil
More by Low Culture

Low Culture

Places To Hide

8.4 / 10 Low Culture - Places To Hide album cover

Screens, (2013) was damn near perfect. So what does Low Culture have in store with their second LP? It’s not disappointment, that’s for sure. Places to Hide continues their run ...

Low Culture


8.0 / 10 Low Culture - Evil album cover
200 Words Or Less

This EP runs all of 4:59, featuring two new cuts from Low Culture. The band just released a full-length earlier this year on Dirtnap Records, Screens, and it’s making waves—at least ...

Related news

MP3s New Low Culture streaming at AV Club

Posted Sept. 4, 2016, 4:51 p.m.

Low Culture (Dirtnap Records) is streaming their sophomore album Places to Hide at The AV Club. The record, out next Friday, Sept. 9, follows 2013's debut Screens. They are ...

Records More Low Culture (Dirtnap)

Posted Aug. 12, 2016, 6:09 p.m.

Low CUlture will soon release their second album on Dirtnap Records on Sept. 9. Titled Places To Hide, its their second full-length after a slew of 7"s. The band ...

Shows Awesome Fest continues adding bands

Posted June 15, 2016, 12:02 p.m.

Taking place this Sept. 2-4 in San Diego, Awesome Fest has unleashed more bands to play at the three day $50-65 festival of DIY punk bands. 2016's event will ...



Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:

Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.