Reviews

Album Review: Pandercakes / Pussy Wizard Split 7″

Pandercakes 7 inch cover
Click the picture to purchase the 7 inch EP.

Unconvinced that a simple bowl of Syou ramen would do anything to calm the belligerent hunger sprites in my stomach, I shoveled a fish-paste cake into my mouth.

“What did I just eat?”

Kamaboko.”

“…?”

“A fish-paste cake.”

Before I had time to conjure up a facial-expression with which to react to that news, the door’s bells jingled and, entering stage right, was an old-time friend of mine, Desirée Richardson, with her boyfriend/bandmate Logan Goldstein, both with a determined gait towards prospects of noodley delight.

Deciding the polite thing to do would be to continue to force massive amounts of ramen into my face, knowing the sacred importance of the ramen purchasing ritual, I waved Desirée over once they had finished ordering. Never having met Logan, I introduced myself and we slowly revealed to each other

  1. A common interest in music, and
  2. A common interest in eating delicious ramen always sooner than later.

I had heard of local Columbian Pandercakes, (also containing Joel Floyd and Phil Soellmer) and remembered being taken aback by the purity and freshness of sound from their online tracks (Paint By Numbers EP)- sounding a bit like Of Montreal if they wrote a song for the Katamari Damacy soundtrack, punctuated by bright driving lights, synth lines, and female vocalizations and occasional giggles from Des.

We got around to discussing their current projects when they mentioned they were going to release a split with other Columbian notable Pussy Wizard, the Toro Y Moi guitarist’s solo project, whose name derives from an effort to not be suffocated by the fumes of seriousness that can be toxic for acts who want their work to be considered as austere and no-nonsense as, say, Bob Dylan’s conclusive body of work. Jordan Blackmon, his less mystical moniker, has been raising eyebrows with this project, not only due to it’s provocative and curiously magical name- publications like Shuffle Magazine  have interviewed him, and Paste Magazine’s excellent “12 South Carolina Bands You Should Listen To Now” featured him as lucky number six.

 

Both Pandercakes and Pussy Wizard have been signed with local label Fork and Spoon recently, and to announce their addition to the F+S family, they have decided to release this split 7”, and I couldn’t have imagined a better pairing.

The two songs, “Compassion Fatigue” and “I Dunno (Translucent Blue)” are so cohesive, they feel like the same species of animal, and yet they feel like they’ve evolved on two different planets, Pussy Wizard’s with a stronger gravitational pull, while Pandercakes’ was a bit lighter. It’s almost as if they took two songs from the same album and Pussy Wizard’s got tarred while Pandercakes’ got feathered.

 

They both feature driving beats and circular chord progressions, relatively laid back vocals, and have an instrumental break towards the end with awesome and often under-utilized instruments (not to mention bird calls, wind chimes, or dirty guitar on piano.) All in all, it greatly excites me to hear sounds like this coming out of Columbia, and I look forward to where this might go. Fork and Spoon are really playin’ Nick Fury here with their current line-up of bands.

 

Before I released Des and Logan from their prison of societal etiquette of putting up with everything I wanted to ask them about whilst chewing a mouth full of noodles, I asked when we would see a live performance from Pandercakes. They shared a look that told me it was still pretty far off, and Logan essentially made the point that they didn’t want to cross into the danger-zone of overexposure.

This is a point that I agreed with. Overexposure plagues many bands, especially the facebook warriors who fill my notification feed day in and out with event invites and page invites, tricking me into Pavlovly seeing the red “notification” notification and thinking I was actually contacted by a person interested in social interaction.

However, as a personal note, I think that there is a balance that needs to be struck. While it’s always best to hold some cards to your chest, don’t hold ’em all- I still want to play poker with you! I say this from a place of love and admiration for the music of Pandercakes- we should see more of you and from you! Even a stripped down acoustic version of a song would be so fuggin sexy, you don’t even know. Gotta garner momentum!

But, now that they are under the wing of Fork and Spoon, I’m sure I’ll be able to get my fix to a modicum of my amphetamine-addict standards. For now, this split is certainly a great offering, and enough to establish their second foot in the door of the ever-diversifying Columbia music scene.

Oh, and the noodles were so good I almost exploded. I’m not even gonna tell you where this place is on Gervais, so that I can fill my guts with dat bombin’ ramen all by myself. Every day.

 

P.S. Got a total Boehner for the album art, as well as the overall aesthetic of the release. The blue hue for the (Translucent Blue) side was a nice touch! Get a feel for all of that with my shitty record player through those short vines, and be sure to get a closer look at the art and other songs of both bands on their respective bandcamps, linked above.

 

-Pedro LDV

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