Few debut albums sound as lived-in as Lowgold's Just Backward Of Square, which has a depth of thought, a wealth of experience and an aching that most acts take decades to find.
As it is, the four--who sound like they are straight out of America's Midwest but come from Poole, St Albans and South London--got it just-so first time round. By rights, their sombre road movie rock should be both demoralising and depressing; certainly, there's very little to smile about in lyrics like "make the most of today/for beauty dies young" ("Beauty Dies Young") and "my lungs may be bleeding/so I breathe in mercury/decay" ("Mercury"). But there's also a hint of hope and a glint of optimism in Darren Ford's voice as he sings these songs of introspection, and a positive and reassuring power to the dragging guitars and plodding bass.
That there is hope in the darkest tunes is where the maturity and magic of Just Backward Of Square lies.
Beauty Dies Young
Out Of Reach
Back Here Again
Open The Airwaves
Less I Offer
Into The Void