imageFirstly, should your band have a name similar to a band that’s doing pretty well for themselves, it may be an idea to dodge a bullet if you’re not a million miles away from their sound by thinking about a change in moniker. LOWER LANDS don’t sound like a carbon copy of LOWER THAN ATLANTIS by any means, but there’s enough of a similarity (at least in tempo and vocally) to put them on potentially dodgy ground.

That said, it’s something they hopefully won’t have to regret – their debut EP ‘Growing Pains’ is nothing short of excellent, especially as a debut release. The highlight of the EP is ’12 Green Bottles’ (which you’ll end up humming all day if you’ve had it on in the morning), but each of the six tracks is a fine listen. Songs like ‘Idle Hands, Empty Pockets’ show a maturity in songwriting and an ear for melody far beyond what you’d expect, and there’s certainly good things ahead for the band if the next release is as strong as this one.

The prominence of backing vocal harmonies on the EP give the band’s sound an impressive depth, and should they be able to replicate this well live, they’ll have little trouble garnering further attention.

2012 has been a great year so far for releases from both sides of the pond, and LOWER LANDS are flying the flag for the UK with great style. The important thing going forward for the band will be to take the parts of their sound that branch out from their influences and run with them, because it’ll do them the world of good. ‘Growing Pains’ is well worth a listen and full of promise, and it could well turn out to be one of the essential debut releases from a UK band this year.

TOM AYLOTT