by Zac Boda
What is this sound?! I can’t quite put my finger on it… it could be wide spread, main stream alt-rock (but that is just too simple and weak). Lo-Pan have created so much more, bridging the gap between the “easy listening” pop-metal you will find on rotation at your local radio station (Pittsburgher’s see 105.9 The X) and the indie-metal-r’s (poor description, I know…) that demand your utmost attention (see Baroness, Kylesa). A huge part has to do with the vocals, no screaming or shrieking here. Mr. Jeff Martin has an ENORMOUS set of pipes, and they will be heard! Imagine taking part Maynard James Keenan part Chris Cornell (you can hear this plainly on the introductory track: Eldorado [which happens to be one of my favorites]. There is also some of the most well orchestrated bass (Skot Thompson), lead guitar (Brian Fristoe), and percussion (J Bartz)… so there is no way this can be included with “easy listening pop-metal”. As I shared above, Salvador begins with Eldorado. El Dorado’s thick and intoxicating bass line brings the listener directly into a very Maynard-esque vocal. El Dorado is followed up by Bleeding Out, which has a very main-stream feel, just not played out. Another track I found exhilarating is Chichen Itza, the lead guitar has a very Metallica riff and never gets old. Stuck Match begins with a simple lick that transforms into a sludgy masterpiece. I cannot pick a favorite track from this album. I have truly enjoyed it through and through. These four guys from Columbus, OH have offered us an inspiring and authentic gift. This is my first indulgence of Lo-Pan, so my mission now is to pick up their previous album: Sasquanaut. I also hear the word on the street is LP will be visiting Pittsburgh pretty soon. I hope I can make it! Lovers of any and all genres of rock and metal must give Lo-Pan a listen. Way to go Lo-Pan! BTW – Salvador Dolly (Dahli), well played… very tasteful!