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Published: 2007/06/25
by Brad Farberman

Escaping Sargasso Sea – Lotus

If you were listening to the music of Philadelphia five-piece Lotus right now, you would be dancing. Theres no doubt about that. Their grooves are tight, and fast, and fun, and one would be hard-pressed not to shake it hard at a Lotus show.
However, after checking out their new live record, the two-disc Escaping Sargasso Sea (recorded during their fall 2006 tour), it seems that the group has little more to offer than said dance party. Their tunes are overlong (half of the cuts are 10+ minutes), too repetitive, and lacking in the melody department. Theres not much to walk away humming, save for a few lame techno beats. Again, this music must work wonders on the dance floor; but why would I listen to it at home?
All that said, there are some nice moments on the album. These moments occur, however, when Lotus deviate from their typical formulas. Wooly Mammoth, off disc one, is a Phishy classic rocker that never gets tranced-out. Instead, it relies on tasteful guitar playing and some nice chord changes. And its only about eight minutes long. Its great.
Disc twos Mikesnack is a keeper, too. The two-guitar theme is funky, and memorable. Unfortunately, at around the six minute mark (when the tune could have ended on a high note), the track descends into house music, and becomes far less interesting. An idea: live shows and records should be different. What works in the club may not work on my stereo, and vice versa. Although, these discs did sound pretty cool in my car, when I was driving fast. So maybe try that.

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