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The Lowtones – Front Row Empty
The Lowtones – Front Row Empty

The Lowtones – Front Row Empty | Lights On

Front Row Empty is the volcanic debut EP by UK post-punk revival band The Lowtones released in April 2022. The band have followed it with the blazing number Radio released last month. The band consists of five members and hails from Norwich.

Hailing from the illustrious tradition of post-punk acts like Joy Division and Interpol and Goth bands like The Cure, they craft their unique voice. The cover artwork would remind us of Interpol’s seminal album Turn On the Bright Lights. Containing five songs, the record runs for a little less than thirteen minutes with each song running for less than three minutes.

Let Go is the dazzling album opener that is sure to set a mood and bring you into this magical kingdom of dark lights, hushed tones, and bright music. The second song, Funeral is a darker song in terms of sonic tone. It creates a retro rock soundscape with powerful vocal delivery focusing on the beat of the melodic content. Commencing with a simple beat, Alone is the third track on the EP. This is a neat track in the style of the band featuring memorable chord progressions and lush production with an outro to remember. Near Misses, the penultimate and fourth song on the record remind one of more retro punk and radical alt-rock music. With its catchy beat, it evokes both magical nostalgia and upbeat energy. The EP concludes with the perfect swan song and final fifth track Streets of Shame. All songs run under three minutes which makes the songs and compositions tight and crisp. The vocals are reminiscent of Robert Smith of The Cure in tone and delivery but with its own distinct charm by The Lowtones.

Radio runs for six minutes but the groove and compelling rhythmic structure and persistent hook doesn’t let go of you. Much like the small knife adorning the single artwork, the song tights a tight stab.

This post-punk revival record sees the band embracing the unique sound of the genre and sculpting new horizons. This is a notable masterful blend of post-punk and dark goth rock creating a sound that is both modern and nostalgic. The EP is full of catchy hooks, driving rhythms, and thoughtful lyrics. The tracks showcased the band’s ability to craft a sound that was both refined and raw. The production is crisp and the melodies are infectious. The record is a strong and particularly powerful example of stunning production and songwriting which the genre continues to inspire. Its unique sound and thoughtful composition are sure to garner much acclaim from critics and listeners alike.

Overall, “Front Row Empty” by The Lowtones is a powerful record that exemplified the best of the post-punk revival. With its thoughtful song crafting, tight melodies, harmonies and hooks, and modern production, it is a strong testament to the power of the genre. It is an album that is sure to remain a classic for many years to come. This is a shining dark, nocturnal EP with a hypnotic, atmospheric, brooding soundscape expressed in an intense, guitar-driven, post-punk, dreamy, retro journey that is to be relished.

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Guitarist. I write on music and praxis.

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