By Jason Fierstein
Arizona Daily Wildcat
On their second challenging release, The Death of Excellence, Low Pop Suicide is trying their luck at a not-so-obvious campaign to promote their music. World Domination label co-owner and former band member of both Low Pop and Gang of Four, Dave Allen, knows that the sound sells better on the street than on MTV. He's sure that Low Pop's sales based on word-of-mouth popularity will increase with the drama of Excellence.
The Death of Excellence is a charmer, but what eludes Low Pop is a descriptive and comprehensive summary of their sound. Boston and fellow band members, drummer Melle Steagal (who replaced original Low Pop drummer Jeff Ward upon his death last March) and bassist Mark Leonard, filler for Allen's exit, create new spheres of philosophy on Excellence.
"Suicide Ego," a compelling track, is a spooky campfire treat dedicated to the reign of Ziggy Stardust. Boston takes on a morbid and realist identity with David Bowie-influenced vocals in this hummer. The pace is electrical, smooth and murky as Boston's lyrics meander through the sorrows of life. "In the madness of the suicide ego, there's a beauty in the terrible somewhere/ And here's the curse that makes you hungry, and where's it now?/ What's next . "
"Zombie," a scary, yet lyrical, whisper-in-your-ear, takes pleasure in articulating fear. In contrast to the melancholic sound of "Zombie," Low Pop takes on the more original and fast-paced form characteristic of their first major album in the track "Life and Death."
Low Pop shall continue to elude categorization as Boston, Leonard and Steagal pump out artistry from all sides of the musical spectrum. They have achieved mastery on The Death of Excellence.
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