New Music

LOW MODER reveal the UK underground’s loud underbelly

4 mins read

With live shows not happening for around a year now, we’re certainly starved of chances to be deafened and shaken by hastily-thrown together amp setups and waves of feedback. For many, diving into their record collections has been enough. For the UK’s LOW MODER it’s a chance to look ahead and cross their fingers so hard for gigs to start up again while they introduce you to some of the UK’s most eardrum-bothering tunes.

Low Moder are a four-piece from Lincoln, UK, formed after a drunken lock-in conversation in Summer 2019. Consisting of members of bands too obscure to translate to a supergroup, Low Moder instead shirk the limelight and prefer to let their idiosyncratic music do the talking. With discordant riffs, exploratory lyrics and a homage to 90s John Peel-isms, they occupy a curious halfway point between noise rock and abandoned carpet warehouses.

FFO: Drive Like Jehu, The Fall, Enablers, Shellac, Protomartyr, Jesus Lizard, Sloy and Fugazi.

Mike (vocals): Trying to pick out a UK band each for all of us has been tough, as there’s honestly so much happening even with a global pandemic limiting gigs and some bands even being able to practice. We’ve been incredibly lucky to be able to record and release something, but others have had to adhere to stricter rules and haven’t felt safe enough. That’s why we decided to highlight some of the exciting bands we’re fans of in the hopes that they can also spring back when we’re all allowed to be together again.

My choice is the excellent Blóm from Newcastle. Three punks playing equally angry noise rock with a definite experimental tinge. If the static howl of Whitehouse was impotent male rage and insecurities laid bare, then this is all the pent-up rage of feminism, gender inequality and identity and much more wrapped in an improv skin, only delivered more effectively.

Their debut album ‘Flower Violence’ was out on Box Records in May 2020 and was a stunning, white-hot example of why voices like this need to be heard.

I’m hoping they can level venues as soon as possible and cannot wait to hear the next chapter of their expression. Go and investigate now.

Dave (drums): “My choice is Big Slammu, a 5-piece hailing from Brighton, UK that can loosely be summed up by the term ‘DIY’.

“Imagine if you will, the Uruk-Hai meets Stephen Mulhern cry-wanking atop a jenga tower whilst singing the national anthem. You’ve just imagined Big Slammu. It’s chaotic trash pop crossed with math-rock, resulting in a face-melting hardcore groove.

“A Big Slammu live experience is like the best party you’ve ever been to, condensed into 25 minutes played out before your eyes, where you’re both an observer and a participant. The Big Slammu effect can leave you feeling energized, abused, alive, drained, educated, shocked, fornicated and confused.

“The reason I’ve chosen them is it sounds like five best mates simply loving to play. And they are better than your band. Just ask anyone.”

The “Music” Ep was released in 2017 and is best enjoyed with a can of budget price supermarket lager.

James (Guitar): “I’m going for Workin’ Man Noise Unit. I’ve no idea if they have a new record out – nor do I give a shit. Their tunes to date never get old or feel like I need much more from them. That is the simple, base beauty of them. What WMNU are about is a live show that will melt yer’ ears and shoot you in the face with riffage and noise that is familiar yet totally unique to them.

“Their latest full release ‘It’s Not Nothin’ is nothing short of brilliant and shows their relaxed attitude to being one of the best bands you (probably) haven’t heard of yet.

“The fact they are an integral part of the town of Reading’s music scene and helped to save their arts centre recently just shows what good eggs they are and how there is more to being in a band than a snazzy promo shoot.

“The fact they are playing Raw Power in London this august is no surprise.”

Chris (Bass): “I want more people to be aware of Still from Hull. They’ve been playing across the UK for a few years now and their album ‘Reprieve’ which was out late-2019 was just incredible.

“They are currently working on a follow-up and are on an excellent UK label called Trepanation Recordings, which has a huge diveristy on its roster from horrific pure noise releases to sludge, psyche and noise rock.

“Still fill a void that exists in the UK scene at the moment in that they play desperately emotional hardcore which takes in influence from the darkest metalcore while fleshing out the sound with 2000s-era European-style screamo. Think of the spirit of bands like Daitro or La Quiete, funneled through a miserable filter.

“Their home city of Hull is a scene full of brutal and raging hardcore, Still have those elements but combined with a truly considered vision. I’m hoping they can grace the excellent Gorilla Studios, one of the most grimy but essential DIY venues in the north, soon.”

Low Moder are a band from the confines of Lincoln, UK, formed after a drunken conversation at a lock-in in a video games bar in Summer 2019.

That drunken conversation led to four guys with similarly eccentric and eclectic music tastes coming together to make something angular and unique. This six-track release has been pressed onto a limited CD run and digital release.

Consisting of Chris Thompson (Concrete Ships, ex-Buffalode), Dave Parker (Tiger Warsaw), Mike Shields (Temple Steps, ex-Flatlands/The Slow Blade) and James Kaye, the band set out with nothing in mind except the words ‘noise rock’ and ‘repetition’. What has resulted is a blend of their collective record collecting, influences and the minutiae of the 1990s.

Lyrics are reminiscent of Mike’s former bands Flatlands and The Slow Blade, nonsensical and desperate phrases bent into narratives to reflect the paced, frenetic tone of the music it accompanies.

Their illustrious live reputation has so far been curtailed by the pandemic, but the band are seeking to tour and perform throughout 2021.

Karol Kamiński

DIY rock music enthusiast and web-zine publisher from Warsaw, Poland. Supporting DIY ethics, local artists and promoting hardcore punk, rock, post rock and alternative music of all kinds via IDIOTEQ online channels.
Contact via [email protected]

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