Lower, DARK BLUE, La Cruor, TV Freaks

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.

New 7" Single Record Release Show!

Out soon on Katorga Works, the debut 7" single of Philadelphia's Dark Blue is reminiscent of late 80's English oi!/pop, a sound not unlike the perfect marriage of the Stone Roses and the Last Resort. A magnificent simplicity is paired with tales of life in Canberra, the capital city of Australia and the spiritual home of bandleader John Sharkey III, formerly of Clockcleaner and Puerto Rico Flowers.

Dark Blue is John Sharkey III, Andrew Mackie Nelson and Mike Sneeringer.

TV Freaks

There's no point (and probably no way) we here at OBEY headquarters can explain what punk is to you. It's a complicated, subjective and largely antiquated term, so we shan't go into cultural specifics here. Instead, consider this: Hamilton's TV Freaks achieve something very special in the arena in which they work (whatever you wanna call it). They are exciting. And not just when they're on stage expending their entire beings cathartically. Even their recordings are enthralling, blood-boiling. TV Freaks are an especially tenacious young Canadian band whose presence in any capacity is undeniably captivating.

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