Before recording its second album, Low Culture underwent a bevy of changes. Having formed in New Mexico, three-fourths of the band then decamped to Portland, Oregon—where it promises that fourth member will soon follow—and swapped bassists. Recorded in its new hometown, Places To Hide doesn’t do away with the band’s signature sound (think the Ramones with the coffee shakes) but it explores new areas, too. The A.V. Club is streaming all of the album below, which is out September 9 on Dirtnap Records.
The album’s early goings will certainly please fans of Low Culture’s debut, as well as devotees of guitarist-vocalist Joe Ayoub’s other band, The Marked Men. But it’s the diversions from the pop-driven punk songs that make the record shine. “Hate Me When I Go” is full-on bubblegum, “Lonely Summer” is the band’s version of a downtempo ballad, and closer “Shake It Off” has the feel of a lost demo from David Bowie’s early-’70s era. Low Culture is still a master of gut-level rock songs, but it’s not content just to repeat itself, either.