Combining elements of rock, electronica, synth pop, funk, jazz and hip-hop, Lotus’ sound is perhaps most accurately described as “jamtronica.” No matter what you want to call it, though, it makes for one heck of an auditory experience. Counting everyone from the Orb and Underworld to Talking Heads and Tortoise as influences, the band keeps you on your toes whenever you listen to one of their albums, as you can never be quite sure where each track is going to go.
The same can be said for their live performances, which go beyond the simple noise-and-lights show that many bands aim for. They have played a number of themed shows over the years, including ones that centered on video game theme songs, rock stars who died at the age of 27, robot-themed ditties, David Bowie characters, Black Sabbath and Willie Nelson. In many of these shows, the band members dressed up accordingly and played covers of the theme-related material, in addition to their own music. How’s that for variety?
Lotus is touring in support of 2011’s self-titled release, an album which perfectly encapsulates the band’s sound and wide-ranging influences. “Golden Ghost” is enhanced with slick synth loops, sweet guitar licks and head-bobbing hip-hop samples; “Bush Pilot” will set you to dancing with its funky beats, jazzy horn section and smooth grooves, and even tracks like “Dowrn,” which begins as a pretty straightforward jam song, get your attention by morphing into something far more complex once the sinister synths and kooky guitar riffs come into play. Lotus can even throw listeners a curve ball by singing occasionally, as they do on the album’s only true indie pop number, “The Surf.” If you come to this concert, get ready for some fantastic grooves. And keep your eyes peeled because you never know what you might see on stage. (Brian Palmer)
Fri., Nov. 30, 9pm. $25. With Grimace Federation. Electric Factory, 421 N. Seventh St. 215.627.1332. electricfactory.info
PW's Music Issue 2014