bark167 · LP / CD · Barsuk Records · July 2017
The members of Lo Tom have a combined 125 years of experience playing in random bands, both together and apart. The group is made up of David Bazan (Pedro the Lion), Trey Many (Velour 100, Starflyer 59), TW Walsh (Pedro the Lion, The Soft Drugs), and Jason Martin (Starflyer 59), friends who started playing music together when they were still pretty much kids. Recorded over two different sessions when they could find the time to spare, the four friends gathered with half-formed riffs and beats to see what would come out of it. The album's thematic direction is loose and conceptual. The melodies recall Pedro the Lion and TW Walsh, the guitars sparkle with hints of Starflyer 59, and the songs hurtle through the major keystones of guitar rock tight conversation between percussion and guitar, heavy fuzz, and some genuinely joyful breakdowns that give way to catharsis. Lyrics were mostly written by Bazan, who would take a melody and make up words quickly, then finish them over time. For fans of a particular brand of indie-rock founded in the seventies and eighties and honed in the nineties and oughts, Lo Tom is one of the best things to arrive in a very long time.