There has been a growing buzz around UK alternative rock band Lower Lands and now having heard their new EP “Growing Pains” it is easy to see why. Noting that the band list UK indie rock band Reuben as an influence, immediately had the band in credit with this reviewer, a positive they swiftly backed up with this vibrant and promising six track release.
At times there are definite moments and sounds akin to the now defunct and under-appreciated trio upon “Growing Pains” but Lower Lands also skilfully bring in a melodic prowess and needy pleasing inspired from the likes of New Found Glory and Twin Atlantic to great effect. Though the Lincoln quartet have yet, from the evidence on the EP, reached the insatiable and infectious might Reuben swaggered with for many years, they are an easy rival to their other influences whilst installing a heady promise of even greater and more impactful heights to come.
Formed in 2010 and consisting of guitarists Benji Inkley and Paul Howells, bassist Jacob Jarvis, and drummer Sam Girling, Lower Lands did not take long to start sharing stages with the likes of Iron Chic, Crazy Arm, Shapes and Deaf Havana as well as being covered in notable UK magazines. “Growing Pains” released via I Am Mighty Records who they recently signed to, follows up their previous EP “This Was Not Our Greatest Endeavour” and is destined to elevate the band’s profile greatly. The release is varied and persistently offering enthused and well crafted songs and sounds to ensure nothing less than eager attention and simmering adulation at the very least is enthusiastically offered back.
Straight away from the opening song ‘Wide Eyes’ there is an obvious maturity and careful thought to their music to instantly set Lower Lands beyond the expectations their young ages should be offering. The song swaggers in with sirens ringing in the background alongside a slightly intimidating energy but once the impressive vocals grace the ear the song takes a step back in intensity but a leap forward in greater quality. With guitars skilfully teasing and feeding the senses alongside firm rhythms the track is a full and rewarding start with the band vocally doing great justice to the writing and an immediate evidence of a band young in heart and accomplished in craft like veterans.
‘12 Green Bottles’ continues the impressive and engaging sounds with a less urgent but just as deeply captivating song. With guitars as emotive as the vocals but given allowance to mix things up with bursts of defiance and energy the song feeds the senses richly and as a track that also is a grower brings more to the table time after time.
The Reuben influence is proudly declared on ‘Idle Hands, Empty Pockets’ with an opening riff openly borrowed from the Surrey band. The song carries all the intensity and blistering lyrical sharpness that Jamie Lenman and co brought to their songs offering a formidable punk breath to the band’s own melodic invention. It is easily the best track on what is a release of consistent and pleasing quality.
The wonderful expressive and powerful ‘Reality In Routine’ alongside the mighty ‘Why Don’t We Just Build a Cathedral’ and the stirring title track complete this outstanding evidence of a band on the march. Lower Lands still have a way to go to replace one of their influences in this heart but with the strikingly impressive creativity and craft shown upon “Growing Pains” they have more than a good shot at doing it.