Sasquanaut, the title of Lo-Pan's second album, evokes images of an interstellar Bigfoot wreaking havoc in far-off galaxies, a picture brought into full focus by bassist Skot Thompson's elaborate album art. The band conceived of the name during recording sessions at Cleveland's warehouse-based Zombie Proof Studios.

Sasquanaut, the title of Lo-Pan's second album, evokes images of an interstellar Bigfoot wreaking havoc in far-off galaxies, a picture brought into full focus by bassist Skot Thompson's elaborate album art. The band conceived of the name during recording sessions at Cleveland's warehouse-based Zombie Proof Studios.

"It kind of fits the profile we like to have for ourselves of a spaced-out ape of some sort," singer Jeff Martin said.

Martin's description is a concise summation of the sound Lo-Pan has developed since he joined the band a year and a half ago, replacing departed singer Dave Ramsey.

Lo-Pan, which once dubbed its music "energy rock," is still as brutally heavy as ever, hence the ape allusion. But Martin's tenure has coincided with a shift toward psychedelic sounds, slower tempos and more dynamic detours. Sasquanaut's stoner metal jams are spaced-out indeed, and the band's new frontman is the culprit.

"He definitely brings a new breath to us," guitarist Brian Fristoe said, alluding to evolution and invigoration that run deeper than just Martin's gut-busting vocal melodies. "We've definitely gotten more landscaped. Each individual song glides along its own path."

One of the band's biggest changes has been scaling back its volume ever so slightly. The group used to strive to be as loud as possible at all times, each member trying to override the others.

"Sound guys don't really like that," Martin said.

"Police don't either," drummer Jesse Bartz chimed in. "We had a run where every time we played Ravari Room, we got the cops called on us. Like, consistently, every time we played there for about a two-year span."

Lo-Pan doesn't use quite as many amps anymore, but it would still be wise to wear earplugs to the Sasquanaut release show on Saturday. Devil to Pay, Bulletwolf and Super Silver will be on hand to batter eardrums as well.

Despite the economy's tight squeeze, the group still tours as much as it can. A month after the release show, they'll embark on several weeks of spring tour dates as part of their continued quest to take Lo-Pan full time, rather than continue in their current vocations of "drum tech, guitar tech, corporate tech and pizza tech."

"We spend a lot of time in our van," Thompson said. "What happens in the van stays in the van."