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Another Mighty Addition: Lower Lands

April 18, 2012

Every now and then, we get emails into the Artsy Does It inbox letting us know about exciting things that are going off in the world of music, books, art… all the things we love, really. A little while ago, we got one from Dave at I Am Mighty Records announcing that they had signed a new band to their roster – alternative rock/punk quartet Lower Lands – and the release of their EP, “Growing Pains”.

Made up of Benji Inkley (Guitar/vocals), Paul Howells (Guitar/vocals), Jacob Jarvis (Bass/vocals) and Sam Girling (Drums/vocals), Lower Lands have been around for a little over a year, forming in late 2010. In this time, they’ve already shown their ambition and capability, having shared a stage with bands like Deaf Havana and being championed by Alex Baker (Kerrang! Radio), and, described by their label as “gunning for success”, are clearly destined for even bigger and better things than that.

“Growing Pains”, which was released on iTunes and Big Cartel a mere 4 days ago on April 14th, is a 6 track wonder of a debut. Opening with ‘Wide Eyes’, “Growing Pains” kicks off to a hell of a start. ‘Wide Eyes’ is energetic, with just the right amount of punk/rock rage and spine-tingling harmonies and really sets the tone for what’s to come. ’12 Green Bottles’ follows in the same sort of vein, giving a bit more scope for each component of the band to really shine out. Vocal harmonies are stripped back in favour of a moderately spectacular guitar solo and over the remains of the EP – ‘Idle Hands, Empty Pockets’, lead single ‘Reality in Routine’, ‘Why Don’t We Just Build A Cathedral’ and ‘Growing Pains’ – the band really prove their worth. I could quite happily listen to another 6 tracks of Lower Lands if they were to produce a full-length album (which I’m sure they will!). I’d love to hear them do a couple of subdued, perhaps acoustic tracks – Benji Inkley’s vocal has a quality very like Tim McIlrath’s (Rise Against, for those of you that don’t know) in that it is very versatile and lends itself equally well to both angry, punk shouting and resonating, even haunting, melodic singing over a more mellow instrumental.

I think Lower Lands have a lot to contribute to the current music scene. We don’t really do ratings so much here at Artsy, but if we did, “Growing Pains” would get a pretty decent score. Probably an 8/10. For a debut from a young band, this EP is unexpectedly refined and doesn’t suffer lyrically from any of the peculiar and awkward rhymes that so many bands starting out seem unable to avoid. Lower Lands have major talent that is only just starting to be tapped into. They might be in the “lower lands” now (pardon the pun…), but the sky is most definitely the limit for these guys.

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