LOWER LANDS – GROWING PAINS
Released 14th April 2012 (I Am Mighty Records)
Words: John Newspeaker for Noise Addiction
The readers of Noise Addiction, the band Lower Lands, and the various other surveyors and purveyors of alternative rock, who actually read band reviews, will all want to know in an instant if the new Lower Lands six track release – Growing Pains, is any good?
Well… The short answer is yes.
We could debate whether they sound too much like many of their peers, (and they know who they are and if you don’t, search them on YouTube and see the tags) and we could also wax lyrical about how the typical student indie rock look, possibly wont differentiate Lower Lands from the rest of the crowd. (If everyone looks like the crowd how do you find the band?) But let’s not go there, because this EP is very, very good. Lower Lands are mature songwriters in young bodies, and I salute them for the great production they have presented here.
Go find the website www.lowerlands.bandcamp.com and social networks, and applaud the engineer who recorded this, and pat the back of the production consultant who kept the clever musical instrumentation running in and out and around all of these six tracks. This is what makes music interesting and it kept me enthralled at all times. The only thing I feel could be missing is perhaps the lack of a certain signature sound, and that which would make the band instantly recognisable as opposed to anyone of a number within their specific genre.
The first track Wide Eyes is 4 minutes and 37 seconds of perfect, teen- grunge- indie rock. In fact on first listen I wanted it to finish at the clever stabbed push at 3:05 but was subsequently relieved that they decided to crash on through longer than a John Peel perfect pop song because a brilliant yet subtle bass line at 3:22 found its way into my brain. Also vocally it’s way beyond its years, with distorted bended notes, that still manage to sound young and relatively fresh faced. Second track, 12 Green Bottles is a far more poppier affair, with bells and whistles a plenty. This kitchen sink of a production can only be described as clever, if not, quite as catchier as the opener. Idle Hands, Empty Pockets is my current preferred track with its heavy shit, angry young man, screamo break, (a very modern day indie syndrome that I am not all that comfortable with!) that doesn’t quite fit into the band’s persona as easily as the melodic harmonies in the verse and chorus. That apart, this is the stand out track on this EP.
Reality In Routine is a great song, with a great pre chorus, great guitar sound, great Bv’s, and a great outro. This is also the style that I feel really suits them and is the nearest I can hear to the Lower Lands sound. Next up is Why Don’t We Just Build A Cathedral? Damn these blasted Lower Lands they are getting better and better and I am running out of critique.
Finally sealing the deal is Growing Pains. Another good song and a nice closer for the EP, with a startling intro put in to remind you in case you forgot they were still in your headphones, and a switch in tempos that will keep you in the game. From Stuart Copeland snare drum shuffles to dynamic Kings of Leon rhythm guitar and bumping into everyone in between, this is a good one. So Lower Lands – power to your elbows.