Local Record Review: 'Paychecks and Pocket Change' by Lowlife Music

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Low Life Music
Paychecks and Pocket Change

Revivals. Traditions. A mix therein.  Call it what you want but Low Life Music's Paychecks and Pocket Change reminds me of something I tend to forget, namely that living in OC means living in the county where one of the most consistently successful bands over the past decade and a half has been the Kottonmouth Kings. Omaha has 311, Insane Clown Posse owns Michigan if not the Upper Midwest — the point is something that makes perfect sense once you wake up and remember it: there's a pretty strong regional tradition now of dudes sometimes singing, sometimes rocking, sometimes MCing, sometimes whatever, and making the best of it.

Thus Low Life Music, who claim both Anaheim and Fontana as home, and you just kinda know from the first song on from their debut EP that they love all that, that Sublime is on near constant rotation too, that the appearance of Big B from OPM on “Coming Home to You” is a kinda perfect guest moment (and that the use of piano cutting through the mix even more moodily so).  There's thrashy riffs, there's acoustic strumming over reggae/soul breaks, talking about fun and sun and getting yo party on on “Keep It Going,” gang shouts, you've heard it all before and next to nothing is surprising.

And yet, it's good to hear this today, and why? Let's put it simply enough — it's a beautiful day here in OC, not quite cloudless but pretty close. The weather's just going to get warmer, the Fridays will get lazier on the one hand and more of a party-it-up feeling on the other. Coachella's just going to amp things up even further for a couple of weeks inland. This is the kind of music you end up hearing around the county more than you know and somehow, now, it makes me think of summer, summers here specifically. When any number of generic bands can't even get a mood right, Low Life Music have that down to a T. Sometimes that's all you need to do.

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