Akron's Lowsiders Take Inspiration From 'Concrete and Rust' and 'Rubber and Steel'


  • Courtesy of the Lowsiders
In the press release they sent out about their forthcoming debut album, Can’t Stop the World from Spinning, the Lowsiders, a psychedelic garage rock act out of Akron, describe their music in a manner benefiting their Northeast Ohio roots. They say their music is “wrought from the concrete and rust of post farmland parking lots and shopping strips, the rattle of coal and salt filled box cars, and the ghosts of rubber and steel.”

It's a unique — but appropriate — description of the band's music.

The band — guitarist Nathan Edmunds, bassist Matthew Warner and drummer David Taggart — first formed when Edmunds and Warner began looking to expand from a duo.

“Matt Warner and I started playing together a couple of years ago,” says Edmunds. The band performs at 6 p.m. on Saturday at Highland Square’s annual PorchRokr Music and Art Festival and with Time Cat and See Creatures at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 24, at the Rialto Theatre. “I wanted to record a record, so I was looking for musicians through any means possible. I met Matt [Warner] online. We had played for a short period of time and had started working on songs. It turned into me trying to put out a record of songs and that turned into a full-fledged band.”

Initially, the guys recorded a four-song demo at Edmunds’ old farmhouse.

“It has high ceilings and wood floorings and a lot of character, and I thought it would be cool to record there,” he says. “We mixed in studio but recorded at the house. We released four songs, and we did a generic release on Bandcamp. The [zine] The Devil Strip down here reviewed it, and we re-recorded those four songs for the full-length.”

For Can’t Stop the World From Spinning, the band also went through a lineup change, and it took a more esoteric approach to the songs.

“Initially, when I was going to put this record out, I had said I wanted to do an apocalyptic folk album,” says Edmunds. “I was listening to more traditional woodwind instruments and folk and bluegrass and old rock ’n’ roll. Matt [Warner] listens to all the great classic rock and progressive rock and indie underground. He’s really a music lover. We evolved into this psychedelic weird rock band with a mainstream sound from the standpoint that it’s verse and chorus melody kind of stuff, but we get weird on our pedal boards. We like Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin and that kind of stuff.”

Nate Bucher mixed and mastered the album at the Akron Recording Company.  Edmunds, Ben Patrick and Nate Bucher all contributed to the engineering.

The album's title comes from a lyric from the album’s last song.

Disc opener, “End Times, Pt. 2,” sets the tone for the LP, which lives up to the billing as “apocalyptic folk.” The song’s pummeling drums, woozy vocals and gentle guitar riff give it a hypnotic, cinematic feel.

“I was knee-deep into The Walking Dead when I wrote it,” says Edmunds when asked about the tune. “I came up with that guitar riff, and I thought it would be the perfect vibe for The Walking Dead. I’ve had a penchant for end of the world stuff and literature. The songwriting took a long time for me because I always write these guitar parts that I can’t play. I was zoning out and practicing the same riff over and over.”

The songs have a psychedelic edge but remain accessible thanks to their melodic undertones.

“Someone once dubbed us 'psychedelic blues,' and at the time, I was still clinging to the folk label, but I’ve accepted that,” says Edmunds. “I’m not a great guitar player. I started out on rhythm guitar. I know the pentatonic blues scale, and that’s about it.”

The upcoming Rialto Theatre concert represents a release party for Can’t Stop the World From Spinning.

“The Rialto is a really cool venue,” says Edmunds. “The bands playing with us that night are really great. See Creatures are a true psychedelic band. Nate Butcher is their main songwriter, and he mixed and mastered our songs. Time Cat is an Akron staple. They’re a professional band and really solid. There will be a post-party too, and we’re really excited for it.”

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