Lake Trout

Alone at Last

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Like most jam bands, Lake Trout is at their best in a live context, where their knack for spontaneous improvisation can lead to some incredible spur-of-the-moment compositions. But unlike most jam bands, Lake Trout doesn't approach their music from the hippie-fied perspective of the Grateful Dead's contingent or the jazzy flashiness of the Medeski, Martin & Wood set. Instead they take a more atmospheric approach that incorporates everything from psychedelic rock to drum'n'bass, like Dark Side of the Moon-era Pink Floyd jamming with Roni Size. It's a unique sound, to say the least. On extended tracks like "Like Me Show You What I'm Used To," the quartet builds on Michael Lowry's frenzied drum rhythms, layering shimmering guitars, spacy synths, fuzz bass, and echoing flute trills to create a hypnotic epic that stops and starts on a dime. Not every song is so impressive -- the untitled second track is far too simple and repetitive, while the cheesy vocals on "I'll Be" ruin the mood entirely. But when Lake Trout is on top of their game, they're one of the most riveting live acts around.