The jam band/improv-rock bible Relix recently described the sound conjured by Lotus as "electronic flower-power," and that's telling, if a little bit too cute. The band has indeed traveled a remarkable trajectory over the past 10 years, morphing along the way from a likable jam-funk outfit into a thrilling electronic/funk/rock/improv collective revered for its elegantly unfolding live shows.
The Philadelphia-based quartet has built up a considerable Western New York following through repeated bookings over the past several years, and when Lotus returns to the Town Ballroom at 8 p.m. Thursday, it will do so in fully flowered form. In fact, the new, self-titled studio record -- album No. 4 -- represents an apotheosis for Lotus. It is indeed a standard-setting recording in the jam-tronica genre, although if truth be told, at its best, Lotus tends to defy easy genre categorization.
At any rate, this new record -- which you can stream for free through the band's LotusVibes.com site -- offers the most genuinely actualized electro-rock hybrid this side of Sound Tribe Sector Nine's last album, "Ad Explorata." Lotus has moved up a notch, from "very, very good" to "full-on awesome."
Keys N Krates opens the show. Tickets are $20 advance (box office, Tickets.com).
-- Jeff Miers