Lowstar - Natural High
Owain Paciuszko 02/09/2009
Anyone yearning for the early 90s indie pop scene to return may find a lot to enjoy in this four track ep from Londoners Lowstar. With the title track recalling Oh Yeah-era Ash, with a bit of Brit-Pop Damon Albarn to lead singer Ian's vocal delivery. However they lack the song writing panache of either Albarn or on-form Tim Wheeler.
Waves, from its opening light guitar licks and slinky bassline wears its U2 influence wide pride before taking a side-step into grungey Nada Surf territory. It is however a perfect throwback to indie-sounds of Menswear and Dodgy, and if you enjoyed that era then I can only imagine you'll enjoy this; for me it manages to conjure up a surreal sense of nostalgia, but has that slightly fluffy, disposable air of many bands from the mid-90s. Meanwhile on One Way you can hear The Smashing Pumpkins doing battle with The Bluetones, it's a strange mix that - like the ep as a whole - does work, but isn't quite as inspired a stew as it may seem on paper.
Closing track Take Me Home begins with a dark, portentous introduction before, unfortunately, going rather light and melodic come the verse. Whilst the guitar noodling plays well against the bright, soppy lyrics, the song - especially with its dreary fade-out - feels like the closing montage on an episode of Dawson's Creek.
Lowstar are a tricky band, they manage to do something quite peculiar; they create a sense of rose-tinted wistfulness for the mid-90s and seem like a lost-relic from the era and perhaps, if they were, I'd feel better about their music. As it is, with this record having that knowledge of all that's gone before it's a slight shame that they've brought nothing new to the mix. However, as a contemporary throwback to sunshine indie pop from the late 20th century you'd be hard-pushed to find a more faithful recreation than this.