Pandas in Japan – Suburban Desert/Inner City Oasis

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Another emerging punk psych band from Saskatoon, Pandas in Japan will appeal to those who are drawn to the noisy and slightly chaotic. This four-song cassette release was recorded live off the floor, and sounds like it for reasons both wonderful (the songs sound portable, lively) and questionable (the guitar simply overpowers everything else most of the way through). The high point for this listener is the party song “High Riser,” which opens with rapid fuzzed-out grinding that grows so tightly wound there is almost a physical relief at the blissed-out airy instrumental section which follows. Among this collection, the song also stands out for giving the most space for the non-guitar instruments to shine. It’s not as though these guys are playing orchestral rock or you need to hear the bassist shred, but after a few listens through headphones it really does seem like the guitar is simply drowning out a fun band. Word has it two of these songs have already been re-recorded for inclusion on a 12” release coming this fall, so, we’ll check back in to see if the balance has changed or if Pandas in Japan are just shooting for a more guitar-oriented vibe than expected. (Sound and Silence Collective, pandasinjapanmusic.bandcamp.com/) Daniel Emberg

 

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