Thursday, February 16, 2023

Alt Review: Panda Bear & Sonic Boom - Reset

Score: 92/100 
Release Date: August 22, 2022
Genre: Alternative, Indie

The music of Panda Bear (aka Noah Lennox) has historically sampled the past. This was especially true as a solo artist with Animal Collective and now as a collaborator with Sonic Boom (aka Pete Kember).  

Reset is more than an album title. It's a declaration to the world of modern music that anything is possible. The underlying rhythm is intricate and infectious, transporting the listener to a children's music room filled with skilled musicians. You'll hear what sounds like xylophones, plastic drums, washboards, and maracas.  

The opening track, "Getting to the Point," borrows from Eddie Cochrane's "Three Steps to Heaven," adding the schoolhouse rhythms, synths, and infectious vocals to create an infectious pop song.  

The album cover of brightly colored paddles and whole and half circles indicates symmetrical punctures in the fabric of time. These black holes transport us to other dimensions in the rock and roll continuum. There are strains of 1968 America when the Monkees and Archies sang sugar pop harmonies mixed with 1982 England when Joy Division and The Fall shook our senses with horror and delight. The listener also tastes the modern era, with hints of Tame Impala, Flaming Lips, and Gorillaz.  

Reset forces the listener to stop and look backward in order to move forward. Lennox and Kember have embraced the sounds of the past and skillfully placed them in context with the contemporary music landscape providing a clear path toward the future.  

- Tom Endyke | Guitar & Pen

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