Boredom can be bittersweet. In the case of downcast Copenhagen group Lower, it recently spawned a visceral EP of dense, beguiling punk poetry. Forming in 2009, the band emerged from a long-standing friendship between vocalist Adrian Toubro, 23, and drummer Anton Rothstein, 22, who met at primary school. But it was only after high school that the two settled on the humble idea of “starting a rock band,” enlisting guitarist Simon Formann and bassist Kristian Emdal to round out their sound: the shrill creak and clangor of post-punk and no wave combined with the air-deprived urgency of 1980s hardcore.
Lower’s debut Walk on Heads EP, originally released by the Danish label Escho and due Stateside in September via Blind Prophet, is a promising first listen, but it’s with repeat plays that Toubro’s lyrical ambition reveals itself. His gray, melodic lines muse on crushing lethargy and personal stagnation, adding substance to the band’s repertoire. I first heard about Lower when the frontman for fellow Danish punks Iceage, Elias Bender Rønnenfelt, mentioned them in an interview with The New York Times– “It was almost annoying they could be so good,” he said of their first gig– which makes sense considering how inbred the Copenhagen scene can be. Along with Iceage and Lower, there’s Sexdrome (in which Rothstein drums), VÅR (featuring Emdal on synth), Girlseeker, Skur, Hand of Dust, Redflesh, Dogmatist, Sejr, Pagan Youth, and Jackman, among others.
Although Lower have a new 7″, “Someone’s Got It in for Me” b/w “But There Has to Be More”, set for release in October on the Austin label 540 Records and are planning a full-length for 2013 via Escho.