The Low Life
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The Low Life

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The best kept secret in music


"The Low Life"

When you make a living doing what I do, friends often say, “I waited tables with this guy who is in a band. You have to come out and hear them! You’ll love it!” Well… normally I “enjoy” the night but don’t necessarily “love” the band.

Entering the Culture Room in Fort Lauderdale, Florida this night I don't have any expectations of The Low Life – a band from Washington D.C. – other than to have fun with a few (of my own “low life”) friends.

Early on though, the sound catches your attention. You hear a lot of influences and make comparisons to bands you know… and bands you love. On Bag of Money Evan Bliss on vocals reminds you a little of Counting Crows… or is it Black Crows? Later during Crazy Maybe Karim Baki’s lead guitar intro sounds a bit like U2… no! The Cult on She Sells Sanctuary!... maybe. On other songs including In My Bed (other titles I do not have for this writing) you hear Collective Soul, Widespread Panic and even the Allman Brothers. While you hear these influences, it’s clear you are listening to The Low Life… and enjoying every minute of it.

As a band, comparisons are always good, and always bad. You strive to make your own sound but it’s impossible not to include some of the music that has influenced you. The Low Life is no different. They have created a sound that is familiar yet new, especially with the percussion sounds added by Alan Falcony. In fact, through percussion, drums (Matt Monahan), rhythm guitar (Bliss) along with lead guitar (Baki) and bass (Neal Eckard), the sound is full and impressive. At times during the night I can see them at a large outdoor festival as one of the jam bands performing in front of a patchouli doused, dancing crowd prior to The String Cheese Incident. And yet at all times they are the perfect fit for this small rock venue.

The next time a friend invites me to see a band I will remember my experience on this night. Perhaps that’s bad for the next band. Because of The Low Life at the Culture Room, I will have higher expectations. B+ (The Culture Room, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 05.21.05)

- Doug Brissotti: Now Playing Magazine

"Repossess: A Review"

By Dave Terpeny, KyndMusic Editor

I awoke with the smell of stale beer and cigarette infiltrating my every inhale. My tongue was cotton, swollen in my mouth and every move I made to speak caused a deep rumbling to explode from my temples. I looked down at my clothes and found them torn, hanging from me in tatters and dirty.

Propping myself up on my elbows I took in my surroundings. I was in a dead-end alleyway, a rusty crooked green dumpster over to my left. Blowing around lazily were various flotsam and jetsam; newspaper, condoms, and cigarette butts. There was a flickering light, an oasis of dim light, over a steel door and spray paint coated every square inch in sight. How did I get here?

I slowly got to my feet and stumbled to the small puddle of light and the steel door. Pushing it open with a groan I found myself staring at an empty concert hall. Like the alley, beer bottles, cigarette butts and papers were strewn across the floor. Turning my head towards the empty darkened stage, I saw a torn and crooked banner falling across the back of the hall. It read The Low Life and then it came back to me with a gasp.

The night before I had traveled to Indiana to check out a D.C.-based band called, you guessed it, The Low Life. I remembered the disturbing and evocative artwork that seemed to be on every surface you saw. I remember crowds of dispossessed yet happy people and then they took the stage.

The music was intoxicating, a blend of twisted and melodramatic indie rock and minimalist jamming that infected my brain at every note, squirming it’s way in to my subconscious. Even now I could hear vocalist Evan Bliss’ soulful screams echoing around the room: “I need you now/I’ll never beg I’ll never plead I’ll never fall down to my knees/But I never said I was better off on my own/I need you now”

And then the funk, oh god the funk. It oozed out of Monahan’s percussion as well as Eckard’s bass. It took me over and made me do things I would never otherwise dream of.

The last thing I remember was the epic rendition of “Fiona.” I don’t know how long it was but I do know it wasn’t long enough. The old school riffing, popping bass and tongue-in-cheek hilarity of the lyrics had me spinning, splashing beer on myself and god knows who else. And it roared on as I faded out…

Wow. Well folks, let me tell you that The Low Life is dirty fun, exceptional songwriters with a wonderfully immature sense of humor and unique rhythms. If you go to one of their shows in and around their home base of Washington D.C., call a cab, make sure you have several forms of identity, identify the local hospital and let loose.

- Kynd Music


You Gotta Die Somewhere 2002
Thixotropic: 2003 Receiving nation college airplay as well as regular rotation on XM Radio Unsigned
Repossess: 2004 Live Album
Daisy Cutter: 2005


Feeling a bit camera shy


The five members began their career playing bars in their hometown, Washington D.C., and quickly gained a reputation not only as a constantly evolving live act but also as a band whose avid following shattered bar records night in and night out. The combination of high-energy performances and aggressive promotion eventually led to several headlining dates at the infamous 9:30 Club and regular 1,000-ticket sellout shows at the Recher Theatre in Towson, MD and has sparked a touring career spanning hundreds of clubs and colleges on the east coast and in the midwest.

Drawing on influences ranging from Big Head Todd to Sublime, from Jeff Buckley to Guns N Roses, The Low Life attracts audiences of all breeds and natures. TLL has created a sound that’s experimental enough to stimulate, but not so whacked-out or schizo that it’s indigestible or un-fun.

TLL records all of its own music, with front-man Evan Bliss heading up the mixing process. Repossess, their first live album, was released in summer ’04 to good reviews: “Repossess captures the spirit of a young, eager touring band, sharpening its solos and tightening its pop hooks. [TLL] has the potential to live the high life.” [Relix, February ‘05] Their latest release, Daisy Cutter, mastered by Grammy-winning engineer Charlie Pilzer, is a 12-song experience that roller coasters like a drug store—-uppers to get you hot and bothered, downers to cool you out.

This summer, TLL will be among the many eclectic and innovative acts performing at Walther Productions' AllGood Festival in Masontown, WV and will hit the road with a full tour schedule starting in September '05.