Panda Riot – Northern Automatic Music (2013) review

May 10, 2013

Panda Riot – Northern Automatic Music (2013) review

Panda Riot “Northern Automatic Music”
(Saint Marie 2013)
These Philly-born, Chicago-based shoegazers
started out writing soundtracks to homemade films and there are cinematic
elements (particularly on instrumentals “Golden Age” and “Encrypted
Wilderness”) that add a nostalgic touch to their swirling pop tunes. Rebecca
Scott’s forlorn vocals float aimlessly above the peppy dance tunes that invite
favourable comparisons with Lush and The Heart Throbs and the wall-of-sound
backing fills in the spaces between the words like a lemon meringue
Another plus is the band’s ability to write
catchy melodies that don’t get lost in the enveloping arrangements. Unlike some
bands that sacrifice tunes for the sake of that ear splitting sonic rush, Panda
Riot take the time to deliver musical accompaniments that invite the listener
to pull up a chair, sit back, and listen to a carefully constructed pop tune
unfold around them.
The title track, “Black Pyramids”, and
“MTWM Glass” are favourites, but each track has its own rewards and the disk
(vinyl is available from Vinyl Junkie in Japan) benefits from repeated listens
to uncover hidden nuances that may have escaped your attention the first time

Review made by Jeff Penczak/2013
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