Lo-Pan – Sasquanaut

By Gruesome Greg

A heavy foursome from a college town (Columbus, OH) named after a character from a Kurt Russell movie (Big Trouble in Little China), Lo-Pan had been going on five years before they caught the ear of Small Stone Records, who have remastered and re-issued the band’s debut album.

After driving opening number “Dragline,” second track “Savage Henry” is a true stoner doomster in the Sabbath/Sleep/Black Pyramid mould, with a main riff that sounds awfully familiar, kinda like Blood Ceremony’s “Return to Forever.” (BC’s debut came out first, just sayin’…)

The band distributes song titles elsewhere like a football coach handing out helmets on the first day of practice. “Kurtz” and “Callahan” must be linebackers—they both pack a wallop. “Vega” rides a Southern groove like Clutch at its finest, while “Vego” starts off slow, before winding its way through a jagged, angular riff, a heavier Tool or A Perfect Circle.

Album-closer “Wade Garrett” is like that big offensive tackle that always finishes last in wind sprints. Slow, plodding—and built like a 300-pound brick shithouse! It’s only fitting that the song takes ten minutes to cross the line…

(Small Stone)

RATING: 8

Sean Palmerston

Sean is the founder/publisher of Hellbound.ca; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.