Lake Trout: There Are No Words
No offense to frontman Woody Ranere, but Lake Trout is usually at its best when he keeps his mouth shut. His strained falsetto sometimes suits the music, but the band’s biggest draw remains a thunderous rhythm section and long instrumental tangents, which have become more of an entrancing soup of drum ’n’ bass beats and Krautrock-level repetition than jam-band improv. So it was a little disappointing last year when Lake Trout’s fourth studio LP, Not Them, You, was initially promised as a double album with one entirely instrumental disc, only to be pared down to a single CD of mostly vocal material. But those instrumentals are finally available as a stand-alone EP, appropriately titled There Are No Words, available directly from the band at shows and on its web site.
There Are No Words is composed of five tracks titled with Roman numerals “III” through “VII,” picking up where “I” and “II” on Not Them, You left off. It’s not quite a representative snapshot of the band’s current sound in the way the 2000 live album Alone At Last was. For one, the band’s heavier riffs are nowhere to be found. Instead, There Are No Words focuses on Lake Trout’s downtempo atmospheric side, occasionally bursting into epic crescendos, like some kind of electronics-damaged Godspeed You! Black Emperor. “IV” and “VI” sound like late-period Sonic Youth, right down to the maracas, while “V” gently rides on one of Matt Pierce’s creepy flute mel-odies for a more typical Lake Trout sound. The band’s ambient material is endlessly listenable in a way that its proper albums have yet to capture. Hopefully Lake Trout will keep up releases like this as an official outlet for the prime material that’s mostly relegated to bootlegs.