EP REVIEW: Lowmello - That Sweet Breath
A quintet of songs well worth your time from the Albuquerque-based musician
Mix the energy and vocal delivery of early 2000s pop-punk, with mid-2000s indie rock stylings, classic rock guitar solos and spacey synth, and you’ll come close to distilling the sound of That Sweet Breath - the new EP by Albuquerque-based musician, Lowmello.
Lowmello is a project by Abel John, who previously has released an album and a couple of singles under the moniker. Across five songs, John pours his heart and soul into conveying some of the darkest moments of his life, yet the atmosphere is effervescent and uplifting.
Impressively, John plays all the instruments on the EP, which is co-produced by Kendall Jones and the collection is an impressive taste of what’s to come with a full-length record mooted for release later in the year.
John’s vocals land somewhere between Bert McCracken of The Used and Reggie Youngblood of Black Kids – a voice which wouldn’t be out of place on the pop-punk spectrum, though on the more weathered side rather than the sugar-sweet singing heard in some bands from the genre.
Opener ‘Red Lipstick’ begins with distinctive synth which is joined by jazzy guitar, building into an indie-dance anthem as John narrates the ups and downs of a tumultuous relationship.
‘Fool’ – the second single from the EP – comes next and is easily the most accessible track of the quintet. The toe-tapper of a tune recalls John’s arrest for drink-driving and the regret which consumed him in the aftermath, with the video promo even showing footage from Albuquerque Police Department’s bodycam recording of the incident in question. The song is about pulling through a tough situation and, if it had been released in the early 2000s, you could see it easily slotting into playlists with best of Sum 41’s and blink-182’s output.
The next two tracks are heavy on synth, with ‘26’ reminiscent of The Killers’s ‘Read my Mind’ as John makes peace with moving forward with his life. A catchy chorus of ‘I’m moving on, fate has a sense of humour that’s shaping me’ sees the first-person view replaced with ‘she’s moving on’ towards the end adding a new dimension to the narrative and spacey synth stitching the chorus to the verse before a cliffhanger soundscape at the end. ‘Andrew’ kicks off with guitar which apes Mumm-ra’s ‘She’s Got You High’ before more The Killers-style synth enters the fray on a deeply personal track about John’s troubled brother and the strained relationship they have.
Finally, the title track and lead single picks up the pace with an indie-rock beat punctuated by a catchy bassline and John toning down his vocals in the verse to provide a Mark Hoppus to his Tom DeLonge-y chorus. The song details the euphoria in taking stock of the good in life no matter how hard things get and builds to the end with a clap-along instrumental.
John packs a lot, both thematically and musically, into the five songs which are well worth your time getting to know and leave you only wanting more from Lowmello. Bring on the LP.
That Sweet Breath is released on Friday (31 March) via Mama Mañana Records.