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Wednesday, December 13

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Review Fri Jun 28 2013

Review: Lower @ Empty Bottle, 5/21/13

As Lower prepared to take the stage last Friday night at Empty Bottle, small groups of people were scattered across the floor and at the bar having conversations and drinks. The place was about a quarter full at most, but it seemed better that way. It was a rather mellow and communal affair. I looked at the stage and saw a swath of guitar distortion pedals being meticulously set up by a member of the band who was wearing a crisp shirt and crisp slacks with a disheveled haircut. This was a fitting, albeit subtle, introduction to the band.

Lower is a no-wave punk quartet based out of Copenhagen. They are affiliated with the Danish label, Escho, which is the same label that Iceage is signed to. They formed in 2009 and have been steadily recording and touring around Denmark. Their debut full-length album is scheduled to be released this fall if everything goes according to plan.

After a few minutes of setup, they arrived on stage appearing cold and emotionless. Without a word, they created a turbulent sea of aural feedback and launched into the relentless "Craver." As I soon discovered, Lower plays everything with a stylish sense of urgency. Similar to bands such as Joy Division and DIIV, the bass was a bleak and meancing driving force while vocalist Adrian Toubro manically pranced around stage and screamed out in a panic "Without him, you're nothing" during "Another Life."

To the appreciation of the crowd, they played a few songs from their acclaimed EP, Walk on Heads, as well as things from their recent 7 inch. Songs such as "But There Has to Be More" came alive with a vicious wall of sonic brutalism. They wrapped up their set with their ode to paranoia, "Someone's Got it In For Me." It was a short set, clocking in at a little over half an hour. I'm not complaining though. Everything they played was focused and poignant. Word is that this is their first US tour and I think they're off to a great start.

In closing, I'm reminded of something that drummer, Anton Rothstein, said during an interview with Pitchfork last year. "All of our shows have been static as fuck: no movement, no blood, nothing. It should be that way. There is no reason to dance or fuck around in a pit."

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »

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