Lower Dens: Escape from Evil


lower densLower Dens
Escape from Evil
(Ribbon Music)

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Frontwoman Jana Hunter has an incredible voice that has enough grit to make her sound nearly androgynous. This gives her a great tool for storytelling, and she is the centerpiece of all the material on Escape from Evil.

Unfortunately, there’s just something cloying about the ’80s nostalgia that permeates this record. Hints of that distortion and synth would suffice, but I kept thinking of Flock of Seagulls while listening. It went beyond mere influence to take over the sound. It’s not a style that has always aged well beyond the karaoke, and I don’t think it will serve the band well over time.

This isn’t to say that all of Escape from Evil is a wash. “Ondine” has a slinky guitar line, and there’s a vastness to the sound that creates the isolation she sings about. “Company” has a fun beat and swirling synths that teeter just on the verge of chaos. Unfortunately, as a whole, Escape from Evil covers territory that is all too familiar without bringing something new to the mix.

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