Sunday 21 July 2013

Lifes - Demo

I had some computer issues yesterday and wasn't able to write as many reviews as I wanted to. I'm redressing the balance today. Firstly, I wanted to start with something fast! This is the 2013 demo from Milwaukee bass/drum punk duo Lifes. Milwaukee seems to be super productive right now when it comes to fast bands, maybe due to the influence of Protestant, the label Halo of Flies and the other rad bands that hail from there. There's actually a link between Lifes and Halo of Flies because Lifes features current/ex-members of fellow Milwaukee bands like Conquest of Death and Get Rad, who coincidentally had a 7" release via that very label. Anyway, punk education over with, lets talk more about this demo. The demo was self-released in April of this year on tape and features eight tracks, including two covers of songs by Swing Kids and Deathreat.


1. New Flag
2. Tables Turned
3. Expectations
4. Disease (Swing Kids cover)
5. Northing New
6. Party By The Lifes
7. Fucking Thief
8. King James Version of Shit (Deathreat cover)

I've found that since I started this blog, I've been gravitating more towards bands that act with integrity and do things their own way. Whether it is recording and releasing their own demos and not expecting to be picked up by labels straight away. The metal/punk stratosphere is already made up of way too many bands who've released demos and think they're god's gift to music, so this is where bands like Lifes mean so much to me. This tape was home recorded and that gives it that genuine feeling. New Flag kicks it off with a thick, deep bass tone and drums that flail in ever which way. The vocals are deep bellowed screams that match the music’s furious pace and there’s even some sludge/doom textures lurking within. Tables Turned last twelve sections yet Lifes still manage to get a groove out of it.

The pace slows right down with Expectations, where that sludge persuasion creeps back in with an extended instrumental intro morphing into some hellish fastcore. Disease is a Swing Kids cover, which builds in volume and intensity for the first twenty seconds, before exploding into something quite different to the original. The bass/drum take on the song is good though and Lifes don’t just try to copy the band they're covering. That sludgy reference is still present in Nothing New. I guess the slower parts go hand in hand with a lot of fastcore now as it breaks things up.  If it's melody you're after though, you won't find it as prevalently present here. Party By The Lifes is eight seconds of brief bass rumble and Napalm Death inspired grind. Fucking Thief is Lifes longest original song and doesn't feel out of place at all. Slower instrumental sections again dominate the song, but the thickness of the bass almost makes it seem like an actual lead guitar. Ending with a cover of Deathreat brings the tape to a chaotic end. The menacing bass melody lurches forward and the hardcore sensibilities of the song give the tape a different atmosphere.

There's punk attitude a plenty and a sound, which you'll instantly feel at home with if you like your fastcore/power violence stuff. The mixture of fast and slow dynamics and the DIY recording mean that this demo is full of character and heart. Lifes don't care about trends and fashion; they play music for the good times and music that scene kids won't understand. This is a grower and one that will keep growing. Keep your eyes in Milwaukee because it's gonna be raised to the ground soon, if Lifes have their way!

Blow of those Sunday morning cobwebs by checking the entire demo out below:-

The demo is available from the above bandcamp page as a name-your-price-download, but you can also buy the tape too.

Checkout Lifes Storevery page here -

Lifes Facebook -

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