ARTIST: Panda Riot
RELEASE: Infinity Maps
RELEASE DATE: 9th June 2017
RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned
Chicago based hazy dream-gazers 'Panda Riot' have announced a gargantuan eighteen track monolith in the guise of 'Infinity Maps', the follow up to their impressive 2013 release 'Northern Automatic Music'. Steeped in an deeply experimental hue 'Infinity Maps' skips through massive swathes of shoegaze, gloriously addictive dream pop and darker electronic moments with blistering aplomb pulling it's listeners inwards as it spirals out into the ether. The instrumental pieces on this album are sublime and coupled with impressive song writing abilities, stunning vocals and brilliantly executed layers of production, it is sure to be one of best albums of 2017 come years end. This mesmerising Illinois based quartet are made up of Rebecca Scott - vocals/guitar, Brian Cook - guitar/drum machine/programming, José Alejandro Rodríguez - drums & Cory Osborne - bass and you can pre-order 'Infinity Maps' on various formats via pandariot.bandcamp.com
Infinity Maps by Panda Riot
Waves of raging melodious turbulence swirl into earshot as droning guitar squall gives way to shimmering vocalisations and squealing feedback. ‘Aphelion’ bubbles precariously on a bedrock of impressive percussion, noisy guitars and humming bass frequencies peppered at times by subtle swells of synth, wavy reverberations and broken up by magnificent breaks filled with soaring vocal lines. Up next, ‘Helios (June 20th)’ swirls into audible range trapped in cloud of shoegaze infused dream pop as it’s beautifully serine vocal lines bounce and whirr on layers of tremulous reverb drenched guitar progressions whilst ‘Latitudes’ pulses on sequenced electronics and churning instrumental drones before fading out through wavy vocal samples and impressive production theatrics. ‘Ghosting’ unfurls its sonic tendrils stuck fast to a plinking synth progression before careering headlong into a brutish wall of hazy guitars & plodding bass, sweeping synth swells and metronomic percussion all collectively enveloping that soaring vocal track before ‘Chimera’ explodes into a haze of atmospherics as it’s cinematic leanings are brought to bare tumbling effortlessly in a cyclonic ball filled with fizzing synths, lazy percussion, fuzzy guitars and its addictive backwards vocal lines.
Pounding drum patterns and soaring melodious guitars ride throbbing bass frequencies and sequenced bleeps as they circumnavigate beautifully serine vocalisations before ‘Double Dream’ explodes into a mesmerising finale swiftly followed by the tremulous opening guitar tones of ‘Arrows’ and it’s cascading bass lines, hypnotic drum patterns and those shimmering reverberations. Wavy instrumentation coupled with a serine piano progression and instantly refreshing vocal samples herald the arrival of the deliciously dreamy ‘Parachutes’ whilst the driving percussion of ‘Night Animation’ swirls delicately in a hazy modern dream pop vibe underscored at times with acres of reverberation, soaring layered guitars and shimmering vocalisations. The experimental leanings of ‘Parallels’ wash over this listener as sparse drum patterns, humming bass frequencies and swooshing guitar drones circumnavigate that laid back vocal performance allowing moments of sonic abandonment to pierce the normally rigid song structures created by the band. The album swoons as ‘Infinity Maps’ undulates into audible range tumbling effortlessly in a whirlwind of beautifully intense frequencies permeated by the hypnotic swing of the drums before the instrumental pause that is ‘Niagara’ pulses on swathes of comforting atmospheric synth and sequenced bleeps & whirrs.
‘New Colours’ oozes sonic brilliance as its captivating dream pop leanings bob and weave on layers of hazy guitar, steadying percussion, throbbing melodious bass lines and entrancing vocal lines. There are subtle moments of woozy shoegaze bubbling up at times throughout this track as lead guitar lines whip and cajole resonating frequencies, pushing them through layers of reverb and whammy bar theatrics. ‘Aurora Shift’ moves back into a more experimental patch as a bouncing bass line rides giddying sequenced percussion and swirling synth swells before the instrumental 'Glass Cathedrals' surges through layers of sticky delay, hazy reverb and turbulent drones. Up next, the brilliant ‘Gold Lines’ doffs it's well worn cap to those early 90’s shoegaze stalwarts as it undulates into the ether on a tremulous wall of reverb hued guitars and steadying percussion. Addictive lead progressions pull another intense vocal performance out into the light accompanied by growling passages of soaring shoegaze and cascading bass frequencies. Possibly my favourite track on the entire release, ‘Gold Lines’ doesn’t disappoint. The albums penultimate piece entitled ‘Otherside’ swoons into earshot on a beautifully intense wave of synth and droning guitar as metronomic percussion and a throbbing bass line announces a beautifully effervescent vocal take. The albums closes out on an infectious footing as tumbling vocals intertwine with backwards guitars and addictive production as ‘Magic Numbers’ bookends a fascinating collection of tracks.
Panda Riot never fail to impress me. Their grasp on what is relevant in this modern underground shoegaze & dream pop scene is as evident as ever on this new album. Collectively the quartet move effortlessly through passages of experimentation and ambient exploration whilst keeping a firm grip on their core D.I.Y values, drawing on slivers of wide ranging influence to create magnificent modern sounding standalone pieces alongside their well crafted early 90’s inspired soundtracks that keeps them consistently relevant in todays ever evolving scene. Some folks might find that eighteen tracks is a chore to get through in one sitting but I can guarantee that each one will captivate and hypnotise both old and new fans alike.
Impressive return to form.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Del Chaney has spent the last four years dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream pop, post punk & modern psych rock from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. He is also a contributing writer for The Sound Of Confusion (Now On Hiatus). His other arm - Primal Radio - has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has helped him in actively promoting a genre of music that he is passionate about. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.
by Primal Music
Chain of Pink by Lazy Legs
Our favourite Chicago based shoegaze trio 'Lazy Legs' have unleashed an explosive new track entitled 'Chain Of Pink', lifted off their forthcoming brand new EP of the same name and penned in for release on December 16th via the Chicago based micro label Wild Patterns Records.
'Chain Of Pink' swirls into earshot on a repetitive drone as the track builds in delicious intensity adding percussion, throbbing bass frequencies and that explosive layered wall of effected guitars that effortlessly envelopes the hazy duel vocal attack. This is an absolutely enthralling track that will have you floating out into the musical ether with ease.
HEART 2 HEART by Soft Lashes
'Soft Lashes' is the solo effort of Chicago-based musician/producer, Michael Tenzer (Savage Sister, Eyes Behind the Veil, Lazy Legs). His latest dreamy single entitled 'Heart 2 Heart' is lifted off his forthcoming debut full length album 'Hypersensuality'. The track weaves and bobs blissfully through layers of cavernous reverb, with its swirling guitars deliciously underscored by luscious synth swells and repetitive sequenced percussion that expertly envelopes that ethereal vocal with aplomb. There's a distinctly 80's dream-pop sounding edge to this single thats reminiscent at times to the Cocteau Twins, Human League or early Tears for Fears.
'Heart 2 Heart' is available as 'Name Your Price' right now from: softlashes.bandcamp.com
Soft Skull by Lazy Legs
The highly prolific and extremely talented Chicago based noisy shoegazing trio 'Lazy legs' have returned with a blistering new single called 'Soft Skull', lifted off their forthcoming EP entitled 'Chain Of Pink' thats penned in for release (just in time for Christmas) on December 16th 2016 via Wild Patterns Records. 'Soft Skull' quickly follows on from their immense full length July release 'VISIONDEATH', which back then completely wowed the underground scene.
'Soft Skull' packs a serious punch! It's kinda like a melding of the sonic aggressiveness that My Bloody Valentine created on their debut album and the hazy melody driven vocalisations of No Joy or Ringo Deathstarr. 'Lazy legs' have set the bar very very high with this single release and it marks a brilliant new chapter in the evolution of their collective sound.
mad honey by shalloboi
Chicago based psych/drone aficionados Shalloboi have self-released a new single entitled 'Mad Honey' via bandcamp. The single also includes b-sides ‘Quietly Smoldering’ and the title track for their forthcoming album ‘Self Perpetuating Machine Of Loss And Hopeless Yearning'. The aforementioned album will be released digitally in mid-December and physically as a double cassette in March of 2017. Shalloboi are no strangers to the underground scene with a plethora of releases already under their belts. Their sound skips gracefully through swathes of ambient & shoegaze stylings permeated with droning psych rock swirls and blissful ethereal vocal progressions.
'Mad Honey' is available to buy/download or name your price right now via shalloboi.bandcamp.com
ARTIST: Lazy Legs
RELEASE DATE: 15/07/16
RECORD COMPANY: Wild Patterns Records
Noisy, fuzzy electric shoegaze is brilliant when it’s pulled off properly, so here’s a band that skips the non-brilliant and stays brilliant. Make sense? Maybe? Anyway, Lazy Legs, a fine trio of musicians, have exerted all their musical knowledge and song writing skills on their latest full length LP to bring you some brilliant noisy, fuzzy electric shoegaze; it’s called VISIONDEATH and its central sounds are built around the dirty, the dreamy and the intelligent.
VISIONDEATH by Lazy Legs
The LP begins with the distortion heavy intro track, ‘Rapid Eyes’ a nice, melding intro of all sorts of both pointed and beautiful sound mixed together. This leads into the next track, ‘Open’, which features a more garage rock sound than other songs, so much so that it evolves into a post-punk-esque storm, which layers and layers until a distant hum entrenches the background sound; fantastic. ‘Blister’ is much more drenched and heavy, maintaining only the tap of the drums to keep its tempo from swaying at a slowcore pace. The chorus showcases the bands noise pop tendency, taking the music and vocals a note or two higher than the gutter verses (using the word gutter in a good way that is) and blending together beautiful and conceptual sounds. ‘Deep Breath’ sounds almost like a dream pop song compared to the previous few tracks, with a deep, shoegaze inspired chorus that slots swiftly between the crunchy, less violent fuzz of the song.
Songs like ‘Sparks’ and 'Deathvisions' again pull the layer blending off, but only in the bands favour, who crunch out brilliant performance after brilliant performance. The songs at this point sound like a mix between noise rock, noise pop, garage, post-punk shoegaze with majestic slowcore, airy and distant vocals thrown in for good measure. The vocals are on a different wavelength altogether with bizarre, echoed, low volume singing that purposefully can’t be fully heard in the battleground built by the band; full of noise and sludge, with the occasional soundscape and ambient piece of genius thrown in for good measure. ‘Snaketeeth’ is a prime example of this and of perhaps the most shoegaze of all the songs on the album, period. The songs outro is close to one of the most ambient, beautiful and downtempo pieces of music on the entire album.
‘Beholder’ turns the game back around, however, with its crunchy and loud intro; full of filthy and dirty bass and guitars. Eventually though, the song captures the mood and style of almost the entire album; that is a mixture of loud, confronting noises coupled in harmony and blended with serene, dreamy vocals, soundscapes and instrumentation. ‘Beholder’ rises with a mix of winter and sweaty and dirty spaces; who would have thought of that? The albums closer, 'Wide Awake', plays on a much slower beat, eventually displaying everything shoegaze that the band have been toying with over the course of the entire album. This album is whether or not the band think so, very very conceptual. It’s so much so that it’s bordering on a concept album… But, I hear you so patiently ask, what’s the concept? Well… It’s not a conceptual story; Lazy Legs don’t sing about the medieval period or how a girl learned to dance, rather the concept is blending. Every sound on the album is blended with each other, on a theoretical level, ideas (of how a sound should be heard, whether it is loud or soft) are also heavily blended. This theory is backed up even more so by the abstract, digital art on the albums cover… A piece of art built upon blending. The good part of all of this is that Lazy Legs are actually extremely talented in the art of musical and sonic blending, of joining and building a relationship between sounds and instrumentation, which in turn reinforces the albums concept and makes the listening experience all the more enjoyable.
For some, the album will be perhaps too alternative. These same some may ask why the vocals are so distant and become bored with the same fuzz, distortion and ambience that features so heavily on the album. But for those who enjoy truly alternative and original music, the listening experience will be the exact opposite of that. So listen and enjoy the noise, and appreciate the texture and blending, achieved through performance, production and sound.
Cam Phillips is a writer and above all, a music lover, who seeks to gain experience through writing and listening. He is also an avid film viewer and art and literature junkie who enjoys creative writing. His most recent published work was featured on the Australian heavy music blog, I Probably Hate Your Band.
Chicago based dreamy shoegazing trio 'Lazy Legs' have just released a brand new video to accompany their latest single, entitled 'Crush', lifted off their recently released debut album - 'VISIONDEATH!' The album was released via the micro tape label 'Wild Patterns' back on the 15th July 2016 & it is available to buy/download right now from: lazylegs.bandcamp.com
READ ON -
'Crush' unfurls its musical tendrils by gracefully gliding in on a layered wall of reverb laden guitars & steadying percussion. It then leads us into that beautifully executed verse, ethereally rippled by gorgeous vocalisations before exploding into its chorus parts and magnifying the collective hazy frequencies to blistering effect! This is another blissful single from a band who can do no wrong right now. Plus, the accompanying video is sure to bring a smile to all of you dog lovers out there!
Chicago based multi-instrumentalist Michael Tenzer aka 'Eyes Behind The Veil' has released a stunning video to accompany the latest single entitled 'Blushed', lifted from his brand new full length sophomore album entitled 'Empathy' which had its full release via the Seattle based independent record label 'Hush Hush Records' back on the 22nd July 2016. With "Eyes Behind The Veil" Tenzer creates beautifully ethereal soundscapes that swirl gracefully within a sonic stew thats filled to the brim with shoegaze, drone, lo-fi and ambient frequencies. You can get your hands on the full sophomore release by heading over to: hushhushrecords.bandcamp.com
by Primal Music Blog