J. Martin (Vocals) / C. Tompson (Guitars) / S.Tompson (Bass) / J. Bartz (Drums)
It’s hardly a secret that some of the most potent hard rock ever rocked comes from the American midwest—places like Detroit and Cleveland, after all, have long since settled into a rusted-out post-industrial bleakness that serves as perfect inspiration for jagged, abrasive music. And lately, Columbus, once best known among underground musicologists as an incubator for garage-punk, is coming into its own as a hub of heaviness; recent years have seen C-Bus doom, heavy-psych and post-punk bands proffer stellar, head-turning albums, but before ALL of the impressive new crop, there was LO-PAN.
LO-PAN was formed in 2005 by veteran bassist Skot Thompson and drummer Jesse Bartz, who were joined by the jaw-droppingly gifted and expressive singer Jeff Martin in 2007. For the past two years, the guitar slot has been occupied by Chris Thompson (no relation to Skot), who is featured for the first time on their stunning fourth full-length Subtle, their second release with Aqualamb Records after 2017’s In Tensions EP.
Almost as if to show the new guy off, the LP’s lead-off track “10 Days” begins with the unmistakable static of a guitar being plugged in—an entryway to a beautifully gnarly, broken-up riff that heralds an album full of completely sick grooves that tilt strongly toward the more headstrong end of the stoner-rock spectrum, underpinned by the familiar collision of Bartz’s heavy hitting and Thompson’s sleek and rubbery basslines, all in service to Martin’s transcendent vocal performances.
Subtle will be released on May 17th, and LO-PAN will hit the European shores in the fall to promote it! Stay tuned.