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FEATURED ARTIST *The Lowtones* - Front Row Empty EP REVIEW


The Lowtones - Front Row Empty EP

Norwich, United Kingdom

Credit - Vera Kleinken

The Lowtones are an Indie 5-piece band from Norwich, UK. Formed in February 2020, at the beginning of the global pandemic, making up for lost time coming out of lockdown. The Lowtones have been playing shows in and around Norwich in the last year, including performing on the BBC Introducing Stage at Wild Paths Festival. Having sent us their EP to review we decided to have a listen we decided that this EP was something to sing about.

With a strong synth effect on their guitar riff The Lowtones open with strength through their dreamy lo fi sound in 'Let Go'. Distant and reverb effected vocals fit perfectly between the hands of the drums where we're whisked away into an REM state full of slurred vocals in an entrancing start to this project. 'Funeral' opens with a slightly heavier sound in its lower tone of the guitar. This track introduces guitar solos to the equation as well as backing vocals from other band members. I really like the way that this band doesn't overkill their tracks with their drum pieces as it gives more room for the vocals and guitars to be heard more than other projects I've heard from similar bands. Track 3 titled 'Alone' brings the drummer to the front of this track with an opening solo before being joined by a catchy indie rock guitar piece. Again, the vocals are clear in this mix, something that indie rock artists struggle to balance in their mixes sometimes. As the track develops we hear the introduction of a wavey 80s inspired synth in the background - this works wonders for the track as it enhances the feel of the 80s in their music. Second to last we're presented with 'Near Misses'. Opening with a fast but dreamy plucking of the guitar strings we're given the same vibe of the rest of the project which gives us the listener consistency without presenting themselves as boring. Last but not least, 'Streets of Shame' ends on high energy. In its opening we hear a classic rock strum in their guitar playing that introduces a sound in its playing which is similar to the use of a guitar's whammy bar (the aerial looking metal stick attached the the bottom end of a guitar bridge). I think they managed to achieve this without actually using one though?

There are a lot of themes in the lyrics that touch on isolation and loneliness, difficult break-ups and unrequited love - something relatable for many people. What makes this project stand out is that although the themes may be bleak, the music style is certainly the oposite through its up-beat and catchy nature. Their debut EP was launched at a headline show in Norwich on the 23rd of April - with the release being supported with shows throughout the rest of 2022. I'm looking forward to hearing this band progress as they identify further elements to their sound. This is a great debut project so make sure you click the link below to hear it for yourselves.



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