Low Standards, High Fives – How Personality Works (Engineer Records)

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Turin is not the place that springs to mind when you think of post punk. But looking to put the Italian city on the map for something other than the place where Gazza blubbed his heart out in 1990, come an epic 5 piece in the shape of Low Standards, High Fives. Recorded just prior to 2020’s lockdown, their latest E.P How Personality Works, serves the band as a reminder of easier times, where life was perhaps taken for granted.

Having released a slew of EP’s since their inception in 2014, as well as their debut album Are We Doing The Best We Can on Engineer Records, this latest offering shows the band at their most mature. With beautifully crafted songs, that combine driving guitar, with exquisite melody, the band have neatly crafted a handful of perfectly formed indie punk, bringing to mind the likes of Hundred Reasons, Mineral and Elliott. If there was a gun to your head and you were forced to pick a stand out track, you’d be better served quietly saying your goodbyes, as each of the 4 tracks on offer bring something slightly different to the table while making it undoubtedly “them.” While the title sounds like something from a Cannibal Corpse album, Guts is very much the opposite and can be taken as a good example of what this band is all about. Passionate vocals and Cure style melody are the order of the day on Teens In The Fire Room, before Things We Wont Say Too Loud, takes thing down a notch, which is finished off with the wistfully melancholic daydream that is 22.11.55.

Engineer Records have an impressive history of digging out the best and largely unheard indie punk from all corners of the world and they have kept up that impressive track record finding yet another winner with Low Standards, High Fives. How Personality Works just bursts with energy and passion and plans should be made to pick this little gem up now, because just like Val Doonican, these Italians rock-but gently… Chris Andrews

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