Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Lotus Plaza - Spooky Action At A Distance

Given Bradford Cox's prolific output, and penchant for high drama, you wouldn't be blamed for assuming that he was the driving force behind the innovative sounds of Deerhunter, the band which he fronts when he's not performing as Atlas Sound. The fact of the matter, however, is that the band has another, equally important, component in guitarist Lockett Pundt. His outside work, entitled Lotus Plaza, is a window into the other half of Deerhunter's creative output. One listen makes you realize the degree to which the shared band is a creative effort, and how much Pundt has to offer. His latest record with Lotus Plaza is nothing short of a complete win.

As soon as the needle drops in the groove on Spooky Action At Distance, the textures and composition all point to Pundt's contributions to Deerhunter. The sparkling, interleaved guitars, the driving drum beats, and the oddly dry-yet-reverbed sound of the vocals. It is a sonic signature that is tough to imitate, and yet is oddly and deeply tied to Bradford Cox's own solo work.  It's almost as though the artists are travelling a shared path, but Pundt's is the edgier counterpart to Cox's more mellow sibling. While Cox's work can sometimes drift into ethereal bliss, Lotus Plaza stays more grounded in the world of traditional songwriting, with occasional doses of feedback and noise.

And, for what it's worth, that buys the record a lot more repeat listens.  Lotus Plaza has an accessibility and re-listenability that is shared with Deerhunter, and it's largely created by Pundt's fantastic songwriting.  The beats and melodies combine to create a body of work that is fun but complex, and more rewarding with each go round. It is a record that drives you to listen harder, and in turn be rewarded, in a way that only truly great rock records do.

Suffice it to say, we highly recommend you add Spooky Action At A Distance to your listening queue, if you haven't already. We're sure the result will be your presence in your local music hall, as Lotus Plaza starts their tour this week. See you out there!

mp3: Lotus Plaza - Strangers

Lotus Plaza Spring 2012 Tour Dates
4/13/2012 - Chicago IL lincoln hall
4/14/2012 - Ann arbor MI yellow barn
4/15/2012 - Toronto ON the garrison
4/16/2012 - Montreal QC casa del popolo
4/17/2012 - Ithaca NY the haunt
4/18/2012 - Albany NY valentine's
4/19/2012 - Brooklyn NY glasslands
4/20/2012 - Philadelphia PA johnny brenda's
4/21/2012 - Raleigh NC king's
4/22/2012 - Knoxville TN the pilot light
4/24/2012 - Atlanta GA the ear
4/25/2012 - Birmingham AL the bottletree
4/27/2012 - Austin TX psych fest
4/28/2012 - Dallas TX club dada
4/29/2012 - Memphis TN hi-tone cafe