Panda Bear – Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper | Album Review

WHEN: Out Now
WHERE: Domino

It’s only been fifteen days yet we’ve managed to squeeze out three album reviews already. We are enjoying the high level of productivity from musicians all over the land regardless of the theme. People have enjoyed Jon Dice’s new album, and others have enjoyed Death Grips’ fashion week themed album of instrumentals. It’s only been fifteen days. Our third album review of the year comes from Panda Bear, the solo project of Noah Lennox, creator of trippy pop/electronic/whatever band Animal Collector, with his latest solo venture Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper. If you’re a fan of Animal Collector, or the trippy wholesome goodness of Tame Impala, then you should definitely check out this record.

Sequential Circuits kicks off the album with an underwater utopia of blooming synths and background noise becoming the foundation for the first set of sounds from Panda Bear circa 2015. Noah’s vocals are doubled up and slightly delayed to give off an effect that truly encapsulates the psychedelic introduction we have received. The track is a real easy route to take to get into what becomes an album full of colour and twists and turns which could be seen as a bit of an unexciting beginning but trust us, what’s to come makes it alllllll worth it.

Pace and hooks return in superb form for following track Mr Noah, as a bouncy jangly beat revolves around the previous foundations and converts it into something that is upbeat, joyous and undeniably one of the best Panda Bear songs yet. It’s also here that we witness the start of what eventually becomes the formula for the following material: an onslaught of looped sounds and verses which on paper sounds pretty uninspired but sonically becomes a device that succeeds in abandoning time and letting the music just breathe, man. It’s awesome.

The atmospheres that are created on …Meets The Grim Reaper are simply astonishing. Butcher Baker Candlestick Maker has a superb quality to it in which its instrumentation sounds vast but effective at the same time, infact it sounds so vast and washy that it allows even the most subtle of percussion to be heard just the right amount. Boys Latin uses the power of looped vocal sounds to create something that is so absurd but sounds great at the same time, and Lonely Wanderer excels at using minimalism to become one of the most beautiful and serene tracks on the album, and this year.

There are a couple moments where the onslaught does become a little overwhelming however. Come To Your Senses is seven minutes of the same beat looped to ridiculous lengths with no hint of change until the end, which could sound good depending on how many lemonades you’ve had, but to us water-drinkers, it does start to wane a little bit. Fortunately everything else on this record is fantastic and a real triumph for Noah Lennox as he continues to forge a very successful solo career for himself.

Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper is an excellent record and one that has warranted repeated listens many times. Whether you’re after something that’s intense, absurd or simply beautiful then you cannot go wrong choosing this record. It’s a box full of goodies, and you’ll never get sick of it. Stream the record below, and for more music reviews, free downloads and more reviews that probably don’t make sense then check out Exploding Head Syndrome on Facebookand Twitter.

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