By Love Panda
It all started with the White Stripes. Then, all of a sudden, bands started to crop up with strange combinations of musicians. We've had drummer and guitarist (Meg & Jack), a singer and guitarist (The Kills), drummer and a bass player (Lightning Bolt), pianist, drummer and singer (Keane), bassist and guitarist with two singers (The Raveonettes), one man and a guitar (label mate Jon Gomm) and so on... They all managed to prove a point though - that brilliant, diverse and eclectic music could be produced from a limited number of people.
Love Panda arrive with a singer/acoustic guitarist, and a bass player. Bit of an odd one really, and this shows in the 4 track EP spinning in my CD player right now. Lead off track 'Two Pence' is probably the best here, with its beautiful picks and its thumping bass. Now this is proving my point about just two people making great music. There's no need for overdubs or drums or anything else, just these two guys playing their hearts out is enough.
'2CV' carries on the trend, but this time, the guitars get a full strumming, and the bass is everywhere. "I could hold your hand if you were somebody else" goes the main lyrical refrain, showing that these boys are far from just a cute gimmick in a world of ever growing gimmick-orientated sludge. Heartfelt lyrics set to melancholic guitar lines and that big, booming bass are all weaving in and out of each other here, and it works.
Argh. The 4 minutes and 48 seconds of 'Addict' are way too much. Nice enough song, but it drags and drags after a while. Sounding like it's been recorded in someone's garage, it's not dissimilar to that My Morning Jacket song 'I Will Be There When You Die'; being as it is passionate and beautiful. Some more prudent editing is needed here, as at nearly five minutes you start to look at your watch, which is never a good sign in music.
Last track 'Wash Me' is back to basics - strumming and singing. It's a quaint little way to finish the EP, with lyrics about "water washing off my back", and furious guitar thrashing; it's a great song, but maybe, again, a bit too over long.
Performing Chimp records have some great artists on their roster, but maybe some diversity in Love Panda's output wouldn't hurt. Then again, maybe some diversity in every band's output wouldn't hurt.
Love Panda: Ridiculous name, pretty good band.