Escaping the Sargasso Sea

Escaping the Sargasso Sea, the first live album from this Philadelphia-based quintet, is a groove-heavy, noodling love fest that bridges ’70s cosmic rock with modern electronica. Fortunately, the live electronica elements have enough spontaneity and sheer hypnotic ability that the effort stays fresh, avoiding the tedium of standard jam band psychedelic grooves.

The tapestry here is dynamic and only gets muddied when they attempt post-Bonnaroo instrumental moments over a charging live dance sound; show up at a rave in a LSD mind spiral and you’ll get the idea. The opening “When H binds to O” lacks inspiring melody and “Wax” develops over 14 minutes with a titillating disco swagger before getting lost behind über-crunchy licks. Creating this bridge between prog rock psychedelia and super-charged electronica has initially been done by Ozric Tentacles, but they succeeded with less dance and more free form.

Lotus should stick to what they know best—like the trance induced organic dance rhythms found on “Flower Sermon”—and steer clear of becoming another jam rock parody. (Jonathan Stumpf)

Lotus plays The Other Side Sunday, Oct. 21, at 10 PM. $10.
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