The Lowtones – Front Row Empty (2022)

Drawing together elements of post-punk, indie-rock and tinges of grunge, UK-based The Lowtones have an eclectic and hard-hitting sound. Borne as a foursome two years ago, brothers Jack and George Abbott collaborated with Tim Cary and Oliver Mavilio to create something entirely unique. Near the end of 2021, the group decided to become a quintet and struck gold with bassist Aaron Davies-Jones who moved to Norwich from London. So, when people ask you how The Lowtones came together, there’s the barebones layout.

So, very short introduction aside, why are we bringing you The Lowtones. Building a relatively new status as a five-piece, the lads have only started releasing music over the past six months (or that’s what I found on Spotify). While there is minimal material online, The Lowtones is already turning the heads of critics across the globe. Featured on Mystic Sons, Obscure Sound, We Write About Music, Find No Enemy, Pop Fad Blog, York Calling and many others, they are quickly building a loyal audience with their intriguing sound. The latest addition to their discography is Front Row Empty.

Following their well-received single ‘Breaking Out’ (read our review here), The Lowtones release their debut EP Front Row Empty. Bringing a post-punk vibe to listeners, the tracks have a strong hazy ambience placing audiences in a foggy forest of sound. Yet, while there is a wistfulness in the charming arrangements, the strong guitars and drums add bold textures. It is this boldness that adds a contemporary edginess through a kaleidoscopic arrangement. Perhaps The Lowtones are the band to bring old-school beats to modern-day audiences.

As I mentioned, the melodic sound has a haziness to it; however, the messages within Front Row Empty are far less cloudy. Penned during the Covid-19 pandemic, Front Row Empty explores elements of anxiety, uncertainty, loneliness and isolation in its vulnerable narratives. Guitarist Jack Abbott shares that the EP was influenced by “…the time. There is a lot of anxiety and uncertainty out there at the moment and we have sought to capture that in our sound.” Interestingly enough, while the release has poignant themes, each of the tracks has an upbeat sound making Front Row Empty easy to listen to.

Alongside the swirling singles ‘Let Go’, ‘Funeral’ and ‘Alone’, ‘Near Misses’ brings a faster pace to a mellow sound. I have to admit that this may be my favourite track as it has a head-bopping, toe-tapping feel in its arrangement. Yet, the final track ‘Streets of Shame’ also has an eclectic individuality with a slower, sentimental, and more sincere sound. The insertion of powerful guitars throughout the track also makes it a little more contemporary than the other nostalgic songs. Perhaps it is also the abrupt ending that makes it stand out – not that I was particularly pleased Front Row Empty had ended, but there is always the repeat button. I intend to use the repeat button a lot with The Lowtones’ debut EP.

For more from The Lowtones check out their Facebook, Instagram and Spotify.

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