The third record from the brooklyn solo-project-turned-quartet features seven tracks that “are preoccupied with failing oneself — be it in addiction or apathy”
As its title clearly indicates, LPIII is not the first album from Brooklyn-based Low Presh—
It is, however, their first as a band.
What started as Nick Kohomban’s solo project during quarantine (everything was a solo project during quarantine) has filled out four-fold over the last year and a half, expanding into a full-blown quartet with the additions of Melody Henry (guitars/vocals) Nicole Daniels (bass) and Pat Petrus (drums).
However, while it is the only Low Presh record written and recorded as a band (following Nick’s emo- and post-hardcore-inspired The Dark That Ensues and A Cold Sun), it’s one in which the focus is actually turned definitively inward, ultimately reflecting—via different symbols, stories and settings—on the unique, beautiful, tumultuous and completely inescapable relationship with oneself.
After all, while the dynamic in question is an entirely individual experience, it’s the one which we can all relate to. ‘Til death do us part, we’re stuck with ourselves. And while each of our problems are, on a certain level, one of a kind—a personal product of perspectives, circumstances, experiences and emotions—we’re all going through a lot of the same shit. And the beauty of art lies in its ability to connect the common dots, find the universal truths and remind us that—whether we’re isolated in our apartments during a pandemic, Tetris-ed together in a stuffy rehearsal space or crammed shoulder to shoulder in a crowd at a show—despite our internal struggles and the inevitable (and ironic) breaking of our very own hearts, we’re never, ever alone.
From Low Presh, this is LPIII.
Ahead of the album’s wide release tomorrow, the band sent over some intel on the DIY methods of making the record and the key theme, alluded to above, that ties together its tracks.
“LPIII is the first record the band has written together and reflects the manic garage punk energy that has become the signature Low Presh sound. True to DIY principles, the album was recorded entirely in the Kohomban family’s home in the Hudson Valley and mixed in Nick’s PLG apartment. The album’s seven tracks are preoccupied with failing oneself — be it in addiction or apathy.”
And because we love a breakdown, Melody, Nick and Nicole of Low Presh also shot over their thoughts on the songs—talking tarot cards and wild guitars, identity and acceptance, escaping from the apocalyptic and dancing on the edge of danger.
LPIII —TRACK BY TRACK:
NK: “There’s both horror and seduction in the idea of self-deconstruction, in breaking yourself down to discrete parts then parsing through what remains to rebuild. I wrote the initial draft of this track while going through a self-deconstruction of sorts, specifically when realizing and accepting my non-binary gender identity. I was trying to play with the tension of shame and fear in the verses before delivering the release of freedom — even from oppression like the Spanish Inquisition — in the chorus.”
“Seeing the Same”
NK: “Our original drummer Jon Kohen wrote this track for an old band and suggested that we Preshify it. We sped it way up, added some crazy guitars, and wrote a wild outro to drive the punches home. I love Jon’s abstract lyricism, especially in the second verse.”
MH: “This was the first song I ever wrote. Around when I wrote it, I was playing ‘Everybody Wants to Love You’ by Japanese Breakfast at open mics. The structure is so simple which makes it super fun to get totally lost in when playing it live, and I wanted to do that for ‘Twangy’. I generally struggle to write lyrics and wrote some (what I thought were) random lyrics in my car that made me reflect later on how I might have been subconsciously grappling with the breakdown of an important relationship in my life.”
NK: I just want to go on record as saying Billy Joel is inferior to Bruce Springsteen.”
“Pandora’s Pentatonic Box”
NK: “Pandora’s Pentatonic Box is a portmanteau of sorts. Mel and I were talking about being ‘stuck’ inside the pentatonic box with our guitar riffs, and it reminded me of feeling ‘stuck’ inside the chaotic, afflicted Pandora’s Box that is the contemporary moment. The verse guitars mostly stay inside the pentatonic box to punctuate that point before the choruses break out. Lyrically it’s sort of an anti-doomer manifesto. The verses are filled with apocalyptic imagery — police brutality, ecological destruction — but the chorus is a cry for rebellion in spite of the pain. The world may feel like it’s falling apart and the capitalists may have all the chips, but I don’t want to be complacent.”
ND: “‘Pandora’s Pentatonic Box’ was the first song we wrote together back in 2021. I think Nick sent us a rough demo idea without lyrics in our group chat and we all loved it.
The band formed during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and I remember it being a distressing time in my life. Writing music with other musicians felt like an escape from the apocalyptic world outside of the rehearsal room.
Writing songs with the band is such a fun, collaborative experience. Nick and Mel come to the band with lyrics and/or a rough chord progression and we all work together to develop a finished work. The rhythm section is given free rein to create our parts and make song structure suggestions as well.”
“Knight of Wands”
NK: “There’s a running joke in Low Presh that we’re all fire signs, and I was musing about how some of the signature Aries traits manifest in me when I wrote the lyrics. There’s passion and leadership, but also rage and impulsivity. The Knight of Wands is a tarot card with similar associations, and much like the upright and reversed position the song’s two halves reflect duality.”
NK: “I took a lot of creative liberties with the term ‘blade runner.’ It’s never explained in the movie why a blade runner is called such (yes, I know it originally came from the novel The Bladerunner). In my head canon, a blade runner is someone who ‘runs the blade’ in the sense that they dance on the precipice of danger. All in all, it’s a reflection on accepting the beauty of mortality in the face of a possibly bleak, apocalyptic future.”
ND: “Half of the band has never actually seen Blade Runner, but I will not be naming names.”
MH: “No one’s seen Blade Runner besides Nick.”
MH: “’99 cents’ is about how honesty isn’t always possible and how absolutely infuriating and humiliating that can be. It is also about empathy and about that moment in young adulthood when you realize that adults are not infallible. For this song, I went to Nick and said, ‘I want to write a song that sounds like Hop Along and Mannequin Pussy.’ I really value our songwriting partnership – Nick takes my ideas, even these little crumbles of riffs, and runs with them to create things beyond my imagination.”
NK: “I ripped off Joe Reinhart (of Hop Along and Algernon Cadwallader) for the verse guitar lol.”
LPIII is out everywhere tomorrow. Celebrate the album release TONIGHT at Our Wicked Lady with Cinemartyr, Bachslider and No Jersey. Grab your tickets here.
Follow Low Presh at @lowpresh, buy music on Bandcamp and add the songs to your Spotify playlists!
Feature image provided by the band.