by Josh Gross
Sounds are fickle. They rise and fall with the zeitgeist, with the state of technology and with the progress of the retro-cycle. But they never really vanish. There are always loyalists who will rock Animotion or Baroque-metal to the bitter end.
But some music, like Low-fi's, ages better than others. Possibly because that sound, a somewhat mournful mid-tempo guitar rock, isn't a hyper-specific expression of a subculture so much as it is the classic foundation from which other sounds are built on. Take riffs and beats. Put words on top and tie it up in a bow. Serve raw.
Their performance at the Ziesta barbecue paired slightly moody reverbed arpeggios with solid back beats and riffs that could hit hard enough to leave a mark, when the situation demanded it. And as a bonus those elements played out in good, well-rehearsed songs. There were clear echoes of The Gin Blossoms, but tempered with a bit of BTS. And though there were no instant classic sing-along anthems present, the ingredients to craft one were. Overall, it was a sound that seemed more suited to a tighter, darker space than a backyard barbecue to get maximum impact, but it still worked.
Their major failing was in performance value. A few moves played out on one of the more rocking tracks towards the end of the set, but for the most part, Low-fi were not tremendously engaging as performers, or as personalities between songs. But not every band has to be. Sometimes the music says it all.
Why they chose the name Low-fi is something of a mystery. There's nothing low-fi about it. Low-fi is high class, through and through.