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]
Jeff Terich is the founder and editor of Treble. He's been writing about music for 20 years and has been published at American Songwriter, Bandcamp Daily, Reverb, Spin, Stereogum, uDiscoverMusic, VinylMePlease and some others that he's forgetting right now. He's still not tired of it.