On their debut 2012 EP, Walk On Heads, Copenhagen punk band Lower left little room for nuance, their dark, yet furiously driving two-minute raveups filling the space of a seven-inch with enough energy and intensity to satisfy an entire full-length. But two years can be a pretty long time in the evolution of a band, particularly when short-attention-span hype cycles demand freshness at a finger snap’s pace. And indeed, Lower have undergone some growth in that time. They’ve since signed to an American label — Matador — and completed a full-length: Seek Warmer Climes. Based on first single “Lost Weight, Perfect Skin,” those two years have very nearly made Lower into a whole new band.
The abrasive, melodic riff that opens the song carries a little bit of the punk edge that colored their previous material, but here, they’re more post-punk than punk. The dark, unsettling rumble of the song echoes the shadowy sounds of bands like The Sound or The Chameleons, and it’s a step in a direction that promises even greater musical riches. Where manic, breakneck intensity once reigned, here the group sounds more comfortable with slowing down and building up tension, Anton Rothstein’s tom-heavy drums propelling the track with an ominous restraint and singer Adrian Toubro offering snippets of angst through a more melodic delivery. “It was tough then,” singer Adrian Toubro laments, just as the song reaches a point of climactic hang time. “Now it’s unbearable.”[from Seek Warmer Climes, out June 17; Matador]