It’s crazy that in this day and age something as simple as men in dresses could polarise audiences, and yet even within the rock communities, dark corners exist where fragile, single-celled organisms will be stunned and angered by the very idea. Corners such as one at a recent LTNT gig, where a punter was so angered by the alt. band’s attire, he had to be forcibly removed from the venue.
“It’s not about challenging masculinity so much as challenging the idea of ‘normal’,” explains frontman Liam Lever. “Besides, if you wear the same jeans every show they start to smell fuckin’ bad!”
LTNT are not so much defined by their aesthetic choices as the no-fucks-given attitude they offer to the forces of banality, finding new ways to challenge preconceptions and hostile forces. Ostensibly an ‘alt. rock’ trio from London, LTNT (or ‘Lieutenant’) have a musical diet more complicated than your average radio rock hopefuls, drawing on everybody from the Butthole Surfers to Fear Factory.
“Nobody tells you their exact diet to explain their plans for the day, so I don’t see why musicians have to,” says bassist Ben Clarke. “I listen to a lot of stuff that’s heavier than we are,” adds Liam. “One of my favourite people is Al Jourgensen of Ministry – he knows how to keep it in contact with the people, but also keeps it disgustingly heavy. We’re nothing like them, but that’s our mentality.”
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Another non-sonic similarity LTNT share with Ministry is a sense of pure atmosphere. “The ballads are heavy, moody songs; there’s a cinematic feel,” explains drummer Adam Stanley. This sense of the cinematic permeates every note of their back catalogue, each release boasting a diverse range of tones and sounds. “I don’t want to hear five albums of exactly the same songs,” says Ben, “but we’ve found it difficult to get traction because we won’t just sound one way.”
Hard going as it may have been, LTNT are back with a vengeance following a period of uncertainty after the release of their debut album, Rank, in 2016.
“Our new EP is fuckin’ 50 times better than anything we’ve ever done,” says Liam. “It was produced by Matt Hyde, who did the new Seether, Deftones and AFI albums. It’s more industrial than our previous releases; it rocks with its balls out.” From the sounds of things, you’ll wish the band had stuck to dresses…
Yode will land this year via Spinefarm Records.