There are many reasons Chicago’s Lower Automation deserve praise. Definitely towards the top of that list is their building of a wheel in which Botch, Wire, DEVO, KEN Mode, Nation of Ulysses, At the Drive-in and the Dillinger Escape Plan comprise the spokes before it gets punctured by a spike strip built by The Locust. What also caught our eye is a quote in their bio where the band describe their self-titled debut album as one that “sounds like a panic attack” and another in which they go on record saying they wanted to deliberately make the “weirdest record we could.” Makes sense that they recorded the album over the course of five days in a cabin in the isolated wilds of western Michigan.
It may not be Disco Volante or Trout Mask Replica, but Lower Automation (released a couple weeks ago on Zegema Beach Records) is still never going to be the album your mom screeches at Alexa to play at your family’s first post-COVID backyard BBQ. However, the video for “Combover” — which we’re premiering below — might be what you and the fellow familial black sheep escape to the rec room with when all the blah, blah, blah-ing about delta variants, Facebook drama and the Cleveland Guardians gets to be too fucking much. The video doesn’t appear to have any sort of narrative, other than redefining the lens with which the viewer watches other people hang out. But, when something simple as hanging out has been verboten for most of the time since March 2020, why not revel in some people-watching and looking at others while they’re looking like they’re about to be the next victims of the Blair Witch.
Says the band about the video: “‘Combover’ is from our first full-length album, which we recorded non-stop over a five-day period in a cabin in Michigan. Director Matt Gans pulled some of that same frantic energy for the video with footage out of our bassist’s hometown called Batavia entirely captured on a VHS camera.”