Lozen – Enemies Against Power

3 out of 5

Label: Australian Cattle God Records

Produced by: Donovan Stewart, Manny, Ben Verellen (recorded by)

The primal minimalism of opener Breech makes an absolute impression: driving drumming, a rootsy guitar riff, and brawling vocals that are absolutely shouting menace at you. Lozen definitely brings this dynamic throughout Enemies Against Power, recalling, at points, the funk/hardcore of Super Junky Monkey with the pitter-pat vocal delivery and heavy low-end, but it’s the entire scope of Breech’s 12 minute runtime that’s more telling: starting from some gentler harmonics before it breaks out, our drum / guitar duo lets their riffing crumble and rebuild multiple times throughout the track, sometimes to an almost broken extent – playing off-time, losing the rhythm. The album isn’t exactly “tight” for that reason, and shies toward a lack of memorability for the same, floating too loosely between its head-bobbing riffs to make that initial impression lasting.

At the same time, this approach can make for a deeper experience the more time you give it, playing into an early 764-Hero stripped down indie rock at points, but with the frayed edge promising an incoming guitar freak-out or two, dove-tailing into moments of nigh-drone, a beat loping along as the guitars repeat. The way this all maps together – hardcore + indie + repetition – can be a bit rough, very much seeming like separate ideas stuck together, but it does mean there’s generally always a changeup to look forward to, reigniting interest in what comes next.