Panda Bear: Tomboy (Inertia)

 |   |  <1 min read

Panda Bear: Slow Motion
Panda Bear: Tomboy (Inertia)

At an indie.rock festival in Auckland earlier this year which saw nervous student radio kids blinking into the light, a friend turned to me and noted the number of young bands these days which name themselves after small furry animals. Sort of safe, sort of adolescent, just letting go of the teddy bear perhaps?

True.

Panda Bear -- aka Noah Lennox of Animal Collective -- isn't quite in that delicate company but rather a sonic experimenter whose previous album Person Pitch of four years ago alerted a discerning audience to his potential.

This new album extends those experiments in sound by bringing in guitars, dense percussion and so on alongside the synths but while the textures are pleasingly pumped out there seems also the paucity of song ideas to accompany them.

You can't turn away from the sonic clashes of Slow Motion here which reveals an interest in dub and hip-hop production, but -- as with so much, like Surfer's Hymn and Last Night at the Jetty which nod to the Beach Boys with none of their wistful charms -- Lennox barely crafts a melody to go with it, rather relying on his stacked up, multi-tracked choral style in the middle distance.

This makes for an album which sounds big on drama but conspicuously fails to deliver on the promise.

Over the long haul this is an album which sounds more like a series of fascinating experimental songs in search of a home, or an editor.

Like the idea of this? Then check out this.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Various Artists: Introducing Townes Van Zandt via the Great Unknown (For the Sake of the Song)

Various Artists: Introducing Townes Van Zandt via the Great Unknown (For the Sake of the Song)

The late Van Zandt is hardly the little-known cult artist he once was: there are many tribute albums (Steve Earle most recently) and his estate must coin it in from all the covers alt.country... > Read more

Queens of the Stone Age: Villains (Matador)

Queens of the Stone Age: Villains (Matador)

While it easy to point out the obvious on this album – the skull-pounding riffery which is a QOTSA signature (notably on the closing overs of the pounding Evil Has Landed) and the... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

RUFUS WAINWRIGHT CONSIDERED (2012): Back in the game

RUFUS WAINWRIGHT CONSIDERED (2012): Back in the game

In 2006, Rufus Wainwright presented two concerts at Carnegie Hall in which he recreated the legendary Judy Garland 1961 show in the same venue. The subsequent album was hailed by many critics... > Read more

GUEST PHOTOGRAPHER BUCK NELSON captures the passion of the blues

GUEST PHOTOGRAPHER BUCK NELSON captures the passion of the blues

Buck Nelson is an American blues lover whose motto is "Have Canon Will Travel". He also takes wildlife photos, has a passion for motorcycles and captures images of people on the street.... > Read more