Concert preview: Lower raises the bar on Seek Warmer Climes

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

It’s not surprising to hear Lower singer Adrian Toubro equates complacency with creative death.

After all, since forming in 2009 the fast-evolving Copenhagen post-punk crew has progressed through more life cycles than “Futurama’s” Dr. Zoidberg in that episode where he’s dunked in the Fountain of Youth and de-ages through nearly a dozen larval stages.

Early on, the band favored ferocious punk outbursts more in-line with Denmark brethren like Iceage. But Lower’s latest, the taut, terse Seek Warmer Climes (Matador), tends to be both slower and icier, built on barbed, buzzing guitar (dig the menacing riff that worms its way through “Expanding Horizons”) and Toubro’s pointed, near-croon.

“Being overly satisfied … [is] my biggest fear, actually,” said the singer, reached by phone in early October en route to a concert in San Francisco. “Some people choose to remain stagnant and play one sort of thing, and that's fine. Maybe that's a good idea because you can sell a lot more stuff and a lot more people know what to expect. But I couldn't do it myself. That would be difficult. I always have to strive toward something new.”

As he sings on “Another Life,” an urgent, pulsating tune that could double as a band manifesto of sorts, “Strive for another life/ Open your arms, invite it inside.”

Though Seek Warmer Climes just surfaced this past summer, many of the songs have already started to take on radically altered form in concert — a trend Toubro attributed largely to boredom.

“I get tired from singing it the same way, so you find different ways to sing it … and you find new ways to play riffs,” said the frontman, who was born to metalworking parents and received his first exposure to music via his grandfather, a church organist. “You still have the frame of the song, but after you record it you want to toy with it because it gets really boring to play it the same way every night.”

While the musical backdrop is ever-shifting, the songs have maintained a consistent viewpoint throughout the band’s existence, with Toubro tending to look inward for inspiration rather than casting his gaze out at the world around him. In that way, much of the band’s ongoing evolution can be attributed to its frontman’s personal growth.

The singer said his earliest songs tended to reflect an angrier state of mind; as he’s mellowed, Lower’s music has adopted a slightly more forgiving outlook.

“It’s something I’ve embraced — looking in and finding the core of yourself and your personality,” he said. “I had one idea of what the world was [in my early 20s], and now I have another idea.”

Self Timer photo

Ace of Cups

9 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 12

2619 N. High St., Campus

ALSO PLAYING: Merchandise, Unholy 2