• lower dens Twin Hand Movement (LP, £14.25)

    label: gnomonsong

    Swarming guitar fuzz, bass waves, insistent drum throbs and Jana Hunter's redolent, charred voice are the core components of Baltimore's Lower Dens. Hunter, sometimes known for intimate, ghost-heavy weird-fi, now writes and plays with a group that might get filed under new wave, or drone pop, or post-punk. The band's debut full-length record is eleven perfect songs long. From opener Blue & Silver (anxiety mounts at a quick clip until the final climactic release) to Plastic & Powder (a churning, narcotic slow-burner) to Hospice Gates (penultimate album cut, proud weirdo anthem, possible creative zenith), not one is a space-waster. They're rife with the survivalist paranoia one expects from residents of a post-urban port hole (and this particular songwriter), crafted methodically and beautifully, and carry the listener enthusiastically out into the rolling breaks of industrial filth-water. Lower Dens formed in early 2009, when Hunter set about finding a full-time band. They spent the rest of the year sweating in attics and basements, and only stepped out of the shadows to do a quick tour and record. Twin-Hand Movement was recorded by Chris Freeland (ex-Oxes drummer; proprietor of Beat Babies, Baltimore), mixed by Chris Coady (at his DNA, NYC), and mastered by Sarah Register (of the Lodge, NYC and the band Talk Normal.) Vinyl includes digital download coupon.


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