LIFES – Treading Water (Here And Now Records)

Today we’ve got a 12” full length from the Wisconsin based two piece band LIFES. This is the bass and drums duo’s first full length release, co-released by themselves and Here And Now Records. They’ve brought us 18 tracks of noisey hardcore/powerviolence, and I’m always a sucker for two-piece bands, so lets check it out.

This release starts really strong, with definite roots in powerviolence and a heavy dose of hardocre. The blast beats are solid, and pacing changes are on point, and the breakdowns are heavy. This pace keeps up for the first few minutes and it’s enjoyable, but honestly they started to lose me around the 5th track where they start making more use of noise in the tracks. Noise can be cool when used sparingly, but when you start getting dialup modem noises in the middle of a breakdown, you can count me out. The noise that’s interspersed through the rest of the tracks seems out of place, and I would have enjoyed this a lot more if a sick breakdown or pounding drum part didn’t have some weird electronic shit all over it.

As far as the production goes, it’s tight. The drums are punchy and great sounding with a fat popping snare, and the whole production considering it’s just bass is actually really solid. It can be hard to fill out a mix when there’s no guitar, but this is done well. The vocals are harsh and well presented, and you can definitely tell the difference between the two members shouting. All in all, solid production, but kinda weak on the execution after the first few minutes.

Rating: 6/10      LIFES bc       LIFES fb

review by Nick Vecellio

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