Record Review - 4 September 18 2002

There’s nothing tranquil about Lake Trout. Incorrectly lumped into the jam-band bin, the group swims even further from the shores of predictability on its fourth album. By doing so, they’ve created a challenging, reflective, multi-layered work.

Inspired by a Radioheady concoction of space rock, trip-hop, prog-folk and acid jazz, Lake Trout is alternative in the most literal definition of the term, creating distinctive music that’s spellbinding and unique. Atmospheric, moody, brooding but not depressing, these 13 tracks sound like elements of a larger work, condensed into fragments, titled and rearranged. The meandering song structures are loose and often nonexistent. Vocals float in only to disappear — as do instruments, grooves and loops.

Singer/lyricist/guitarist Woody Ranere’s obtuse stream-of-consciousness lyrics and keening vocals fall somewhere between Thom Yorke and New Order’s Bernard Sumner. On the 12-minute opus “Look Who It Is,” Michael Lowery’s thundering, intricate drumming drives the grooves, adding taut muscle to the band’s ethereal art rock. Matt Pierce’s ominous flute and keyboards evoke an eerie volatility.

Another One Lost is most rewarding after repeated listens, so the band’s sonic depth can be absorbed, pondered and relished.

Lake Trout plays the Cotton Club Thurs., Sept. 19.??