Swarming guitar fuzz, bass waves, Jana Hunter's voice, and insistent drum throbs are the core components of Baltimore's Lower Dens. Hunter, sometimes known for intimate, ghost-heavy weird-fi, is now writing and playing with a group that might get filed as new wave, or drone pop, or post-punk. With due deference to her solo work, we're very glad.
The swarming wave-throb, coupled with Hunter's lyrics and redolent, charred voice, wrecks. The band's upcoming record, Twin-Hand Movement, is eleven perfect songs long. From opener "Blue & Silver" (anxiety
mounts at a quick clip until the final climactic release) to "Plastic & Powder" (a churning, narcotic slow-burner) to "Hospice Gates" (penultimate album cut, proud weirdo anthem, possible creative zenith), not one is a space-taker. They're rife with the survivalist paranoia you'd expect from residents of a post-urban port hole (and this particular songwriter), crafted methodically and beautifully, and carry you enthusiastically out into the rolling breaks of industrial filth-water.
Lower Dens formed in 2009, when Hunter set about finding a full-time band. They spent the rest of the year sweating in attics and basements, and only stepped out of the shadows to do a quick tour and record. Twin-Hand Movement was recorded by Chris Freeland (ex-Oxes drummer; proprietor of Beat Babies, Baltimore), mixed by Chris Coady (at his DNA, NYC), and mastered by Sarah Register (of the Lodge, NYC and the band Talk Normal.)