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Lower Dens – Hospice Gates

Written by John Ritchie on May 17, 2010

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.

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.

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