The Lincoln, U.K.-based noise rock group Low Moder present a striking musical exploration of a kind of landscape of desperation on their newly available debut release.
The band’s songs feel both strong and dynamic, with riffing that keeps the experience moving along and rich dynamics that make the six-track record feel very personable. In a broad sense, the music feels like stumbling around a jittery city without a clear direction or end point in mind. It’s a very everyday-oriented experience of anxiety as the songs move through waves of tension that feel like the sonic equivalent of a shuffling swagger, like trying to outrun stress that’s within one’s own mind. The sound isn’t overly bleak, but neither is it particularly optimistic or bright. Instead, these tracks sit in that complicated emotional area where the feelings mix and give way to a blanket of resigned frustration.
Although Low Moder sometimes perform with a bit of restraint, at least comparatively speaking, their music features occasional windy blasts of unsettling vitriol that help fill out the album’s experience, making it feel very immersive.
Besides the strength, the tracks feel organic, as if watching the accompanying emotional states unfold right then and there. The group moves through an array of styles, from jangling and somewhat contemplative riffing to more erratic performances that feel subtly confrontational.
The opening track, called “Crackle,” features a particularly brisk conclusion, while “Peace Prize” and “Matching Outfits” — which are the release’s fourth and sixth tracks, respectively — get into faster territory. “Herding Cats,” meanwhile — the release’s second track — gradually increases in intensity across its runtime. The band’s more aggressive segments feel rich and grounded, and every segment feels compellingly powerful. The simmering tension in all of the music makes the whole journey feel nicely electrifying, and even the tones of the instrumentals and vocals help solidify the music’s impact. The tense instrumentals, which feature a rather heavy edge, sound a bit tart and confrontational, while the group’s vocals waver from a kind of contemplative spoken word vibe into aggressively sprawling shouts.
Ultimately, Low Moder provide a richly engaging listen — the music feels real and energizing.
Listen to Low Moder below!