The first thing I noticed when I had this CD started playing was the loud, powerful and defined recording, often better than the one of CDs officially released this year by big labels. There must've been a sharp work of chiseling with compressors during both the mixing and the mastering process.
Lotus Effect arrive at the goal of a second release with 5 songs making this a mini-CD, but this doesn't affect the result; these compositions are enough to evaluate the talent and the professionality expressed by this 4-piece: it's not a strike of luck and neither is sheer chance that they've held the same line-up for two years, they've supported notable acts sucs as Semi Precious Weapons, Nico Vega, Katatonia, Swallow The Sun and Orphaned Land, and finally that they've planned a new tour and a third release already in 2011. This means they do believe in their means and they're in the middle of their inspirational apex, so don't miss a chance of listening to them live, on CD or online now!
The artwork is grotesque, reminescent of a more symbolic "Alice In Wonderland" a bit and minimalistic at the same time, in black, clear brown and white with a steady prevalence of the white and dull brown, so it's definitely original and propaedeutical to the music itself.
They've been compared to At The Drive-In, Circa Survive, The Fall Of Troy, Flaming Lips, early Muse, Protest The Hero, Saosin, pre-"Runaway Train" Soul Asylum, Thrice; I'd add some influence from A Perfect Circle and even Mudvayne music-wise, while something in common with the early Incubus (USA) vocal-wise; moreover Lotus Effect claim to be the gateway band to Porcupine Tree, that is the combo you are easily going to listen to even if you have no Progressive metal/Alternative rock basis and your average tastes fall far from this genre.
And the band out of Houston (not to be confused with the homonymous Ambient band off New York) actually includes elements of the above-cited acts in its sound, yet adding sharper crunchier guitars, more personality and more soulful vocals.
Useless to mention one song instead of another, tho my favorite is "Simple Pages", because it is a complete song showing the best of each member without recurring to solos but simply finding the right time for each of them to give the song a fine touch so as to make it unique and above Prog/Alt rock standards, unexpectable and courageously original; suffice it to say the members' technical skills are high, especially the drummer's, yet the solidity of the compositions resides in the good taste of each musician's performance.
At this point, I should feel partially lucky for having discovered the band thru this EP; the truth is that I regret not possessing the Texans' debut album to fill my collection, notwithstanding I would consolate myself enough if might at least be able to get ahold of their 2011 offering. We'll see...
As to you, don't wait any longer. Ya have the advantage of my advice and my conformation this is not a clone-act and the guys are real clever at the whole process going from composing, to arranging, and performing during the recording. In a nutshell, "Rabbits & Royalty" is a synonim of damn well-spent bucks!
MARKUS GANZHERRLICH - 20th September 2010