lower

Danish quartet Lower are one of a handful of bands currently causing a stir in Copenhagen’s burgeoning underground punk scene. On the one hand, that’s all the information needed to describe this, their debut – tonally it’s as bleached and bleak as its fellow citizens’ gritty, slightly joyless crime dramas, and aesthetically it carries all the trademarks of any young band causing a stir in a burgeoning underground punk scene: dank semi-barked poetry, militantly lo-fi production values and almost proselytising outsiderness.

On the other hand, however, ‘Seek Warmer Climes’ has an enticing weirdness that elevates it above standard co-op collective no-wave punk bands the world over. For a start, there’s the sprawling album centrepiece ‘Expanding Horizons’, which ditches the rattling roughness of its surroundings for a shoegazing seven minutes (more than twice the length of anything else here), and then ‘Soft Option’ is an unexpectedly melodic piece of grunge pop with added flecks of Morrissey. Elsewhere, too, Lower’s approach to almost every aspect of making an album feels pleasingly transgressive, be it texture, song structure or track sequencing.

‘Seek Warmer Climes’ is a genre album that will delight its admirers and baffle everyone else. That it manages this while remaining one step removed from the standard rulebook makes its achievement particularly intriguing, if not entirely loveable.

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