Ohio's Lo-Pan originally released their sophomore effort, Sasquanaut (it's a sasquatch and an astronaut, get it?), in 2009, but after linking up with Small Stone Recordings, the album was given a good scrubbing (otherwise known as "remixed & remastered") before being reissued at the top of 2011 -- happy friggin' new year! All of which hardly disrupts the space-time continuum, conveniently enough, since Lo-Pan's music subscribes to that timeless brand of stoner rock that has been dancing around mainstream sensibilities for three of the four past decades, give or take the 1980s, with only minimal alterations or wear and tear along the way. Why f**k with a good thing, right? Anyway, in Lo-Pan's specific case, the hyperactive, oftentimes dizzying guitar work erupting out of "Dragline," "Vega," and long stretches of the ten-minute "Wade Garrett" (the song, not the actor…that would be gross) recalls fellow Buckeyes Red Giant; and yet Jeff Martin's possessed and soulful growl puts him in a different league with, oh what the heck, a Rob Tyner ("Are you ready to testify, brothas an' sistas?!). But the band arguably really excels when indulging in the leaden grooves, hypnotic psychedelics, and thundering doom of tracks like "Savage Henry," "Kurtz," and "Vego," which crush entire city blocks with the ungainly subtlety of Godzuki. Either way, perhaps the ultimate advice to be gleaned from this review is that a mega-bong isn't required, but is certainly recommended before tangling with the Sasquanaut.
- Eduardo Rivadavia
November 18th, 2010