Lowmen Markos – Lowmen Markos EP
Self Released 2011
By Ben Allen
Three instrumental tracks with a running time of nearly thirty minutes comprise the debut EP from Seattle quartet Lowmen Markos. The recording is an engaging, ambitious effort requiring multiple listens to fully grasp and appreciate the band’s efforts.
The tracks are full of wide open spaces and atmospheric sounds which serve as a backdrop for the more technical, intricate playing.
Opener “Constant Teen” features a full three minutes of feedback, hi-hat, cymbal flourishes and gently strummed guitar before the song kicks in to gear.
“O.D.I.A.C.” emphasizes ambient, droning intertwined guitars until an insistent, repetitive drum beat begins halfway through, followed by what can only be described as an attack on a glockenspiel running through some type of distortion.
The highlight, though, is without a doubt “Mangled Talons (of a dead falcon),” which demands attention with its elaborate arrangement. The beginning contains an anticipatory sound and feel, leading to a middle section with two captivating, instantly memorable guitar lines. The song then quiets down as the glockenspiel makes a brief, ominous-sounding appearance before everything builds to an explosive climax.
Lowmen Markos is a sprawling, beautiful and sometimes challenging recording from an incredibly virtuosic group of promising Seattle musicians. – (7.5/10)
The band’s next show is Friday, February 18 at the Josephine in Ballard.