Lød – Folder EP

by Jon Burke Rating:8 Release Date:2017-06-30

Right out of the box, Copenhagen’s Lød make their intentions clear: it’s going to be post-punk all day, every day on this record. The opening track, “Så Blå, sounds a bit like members of Joy Division playing in a Gang of Four cover band. Interestingly, the angular guitars and precision drum sounds one would expect are sanded down and the result is a gorgeously smooth approach to a normally tense genre. Imagine Peter Hook on thorazine, or Andy Gill playing in a padded cell, and you’re close to Lød’s vibe. They also aren’t afraid to stretch out – “Så Blå clocks in at over nine minutes, during which time vocalist Søren Gade establishes his vocal similarities to early Echo-era Ian McCulloch. The best part is none of the homage feels derivative because, while the Brits’ respective sounds felt metallic and robotic, Lød’s sound feels oddly natural.

Tracks two and three, “Træder ind, bukker, bukker” and “Fælled”, respectively, flesh-out Lød’s range which includes some lovely electronic instrumentals and a Can/Neu!-like krautrock approach. The former hypnotic and lush, the latter rhythmic and very loud. While the krautrock doesn’t quite achieve Can’s exotic beauty, it shows a great reverence for the Einstürzende Neubauten-style of complex, layered percussion under shouted vocals. Gade’s range, from the sensitivity of Ian McCulloch to the passion of Blixa Bargeld, is also quite impressive.

The EP’s final, eponymous, track “Folder” returns to the Joy Division meets Echo & the Bunnymen formula of the opener. Things jump-off with a drum/bass and repetitive guitar riff reminiscent of Ought. Just as the groove becomes quite infectious it suddenly transitions into a bass-heavy riff and repetitive keyboard. Though, again, Lød wears their influences on their sleeve, it’s never obtrusive or unappealing. In fact, the Folder EP should be very pleasing for fans of any of the bands referenced in this review. Musicians with such a sound understanding of the difference between loving homage and blatant unoriginality deserve the attention they get. I’m looking forward to a full length album from this exciting new band.

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