Hot Panda – How Come I’m Dead?
I’ve been grooving to Hot Panda’s Volcano… Bloody Volcano for quite a while now. So, I was completely thrilled when the fabulous Mint Records sent us the band’s new effort, How Come I’m Dead? I am always glad to hear more from bands I love to hear in my player!
Membership Fees (Intro) wants to freak out a bit before becoming a groovy little number. Love the creepy cello underneath the rest. Evil Nature is a sweet and fuzzy rocker with a great riff that becomes almost a Beach Boys surfer dude tune. So cool. Next up is Pools, with its tricky beat and fabulous freak-out chorus. Shoot Your Horse’s great R.E.M. intro bass run makes this duet a fun pop-western shuffle that ends with another fuzzed out guitar blast. Fuck Shit Up/Hell Hey Hex is funky and fun, bopping along weirdly before speeding right up into its screaming last minute.
Start Making Sense has another great, slinky guitar line over a peppy pop washboard road bed, complete with the chunky guitar blasts towards the end that dissolve into a Lust For Life-like dance-out. Man, these cats are busy! Poor Little Ambulance trips us out for a couple of minutes with its faux wind howling and swing beat, Clever Fox builds strength by really chewing on its intro riff, then spitting it out into a weird pop guitar gem other bands would kill for, surely.
Mindlessnesslessness (which is fun to type, by the way) double-times it straight into a Haight-Ashbury by way of the Doors rave-up that eventually morphs into a cute little riff over toy-like music and harmony vocals. 1995 brings the pace right back up, pounding away with glee. This would be so much fun in a live setting. Masculinity chugs along over more fuzzy guitars and some great, lingering horn parts (I love horns!), The Ghost wants to haunt us with the prettiest buzzy pop song yet. Finally, we get to Late Night Calling (Outro), which bookends the whole shebang with aplomb.
I loved this record. The production allows all the instruments their own space, and it’s sometimes even a bit of a harder edge than their first record. A perfect companion for these waning winter days. Sweet!
Thanks Heaps, Mighty Mint!