Boredom can be bittersweet. In the case of downcast Copenhagen group Lower, it recently spawned a visceral EP of dense, beguiling punk poetry. Forming in 2009, the band emerged from a long-standing friendship between vocalist Adrian Toubro, 23, and drummer Anton Rothstein, 22, who met at primary school. But it was only after high school that the two settled on the humble idea of "starting a rock band," enlisting guitarist Simon Formann and bassist Kristian Emdal to round out their sound: the shrill creak and clangor of post-punk and no wave combined with the air-deprived urgency of 1980s hardcore.

Lower's debut Walk on Heads EP, originally released by the Danish label Escho and due Stateside in September via Blind Prophet, is a promising first listen, but it's with repeat plays that Toubro's lyrical ambition reveals itself. His gray, melodic lines muse on crushing lethargy and personal stagnation, adding substance to the band's repertoire. I first heard about Lower when the frontman for fellow Danish punks Iceage, Elias Bender Rønnenfelt, mentioned them in an interview with The New York Times-- "It was almost annoying they could be so good," he said of their first gig-- which makes sense considering how inbred the Copenhagen scene can be. Along with Iceage and Lower, there's Sexdrome (in which Rothstein drums), VÅR (featuring Emdal on synth), Girlseeker, Skur, Hand of Dust, Redflesh, Dogmatist, Sejr, Pagan Youth, and Jackman, among others.

Lower's most recent 7", "Someone's Got It in for Me" b/w "But There Has to Be More" (released last October by the Austin label 540 Records) topped many Best Of lists of 2012 and in addition to a limited split 7" with ICEAGE (available only on this tour), they are planning a full-length for 2013 via Escho.

Pleasure Leftists

Cleveland post-punk quartet Pleasure Leftists borrow more than a few gloomy moves from late 1970s Britain, but they've got the finesse to stake their own ground. Fronted by the grayly expressive Haley Morris, a powerful singer who claims equal influence from Factory Records and 1950s French balladeer Édith Piaf, the band breathes speed and energy into a formula that could otherwise be written off as mere posturing. "Elephant Men" builds its velocity off a hard-driving 2-D drum sound (claiming two former members of brutal Cleveland hardcore act 9 Shocks Terror doesn't hurt) and eschews a deadpan aesthetic for something that sounds desperate and poised. The 7" comes backed by "Not Over", and it's seeing release via the Brooklyn label Katorga Works (home to Merchandise, Wiccans, CREEM).


Founded in early 2012, Believer/Law play harsh, danceable music in the spirit of the Wax Trax! roster. The band fuse equal parts early Mute projects such as DAF and The Normal, the desperation of Skinny Puppy and Wumpscut and the industrial crush of Broken Flag pioneers Ramleh and Controlled Bleeding, while maintaining a punk sensibility all their own. Members of Veins, Kama Rupa, Cult Of Youth etc. Blind Prophet Records/Robert & Leopold/Chondritic Sound/cae-sur-a.

Bad Energy

Philadelphia hardcore punk.

$8.00 - $10.00


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Lower with Pleasure Leftists, Believer/Law, Bad Energy

Monday, June 24 · Doors 7:30 PM / Show 8:00 PM at Kungfu Necktie