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Toronto’s Slow Loris is a jam band that plays with several sounds—rather retro, stately trumpet pieces, flamboyant, complex post-Bitches Brew fusion workouts, and, most inspiredly, raunchy, stripped-down bluesy noise fragments in the spirit of Chicago deconstructivists like Brise Glace, all choked guitar riffs and primal drum crash and rattle. In other words, SL is either versatile or confused. It ends up being a visceral, engrossing, and often entrancing mix. Formed a few years ago as an afternoon side project, the band has a striking, chameleonic bent that quickly drew peers’ interest. Shows with kindred muscular atmospherists like Red Red Meat and Codeine followed, but the band grew to prefer the sanctity of the studio. This is Slow Loris’ debut record for Southern, the latest on the label’s roster of bold instrumental projects (see also: Rex). Reckless mood shifts characterize this soundtrack to a film not yet conceived. “Too Bad Man”‘s Blue Note-ish wash of keyboards would be an evocative backdrop for a midnight drive. “Tijuana” is textured with drums clacking and trumpets in plaintive dialogue. “Live Next Door” is less successful, a drum recital that sounds like a particularly plodding Melvins session. But further pruning may bring great harvests from this band’s fertile ground.

—Michael Wiener