Panda Bear – Person Pitch (Paw Tracks)


Well lets get the lazy comparisons out of the way. Panda Bear is a member of Animal Collective. They share the same free-folk ethos. But I will commit heresy and say right now…. this is way fucking better than anything Animal Collective have done. This is how I wanted Animal Collective to sound when I first bought Here Comes The Indian CD.  It’s how I wanted the Polyphionic Spree to sound before I wasted money on that piece of garbage (note to self: David Bowie is not necessarily a reliable arbiter of good things. Additional note to self: You really should have already known this considering the man hasn’t made a decent record since 1981). 

Person Pitch is a clever, mesmersing record. You know those bits in the Wicker Man (no, not the fucking remake) when everyone is prancing about being mellow, and in love and happy and stuff? This record shares that happy joy with a moody, meditative quality. Scratch the surface though and Mr Bear just can’t help fucking with his listener’s heads just a little. The first track Comfy in Nautica is a gentle ode to the good time sung over a loop of what sounds like a church choir chanting and clapping.  It makes one want to frolic in a park on a warm summer’s day but then two thirds of the way through a Formula One race makes an appearance. Right through the fucking park I’d say. The choir don’t seem to mind though. They keep chanting away in their quasi-eurphoric state. The clapping stays steady as she goes until  the last 30 seconds when proceedings are taken over by an ominous drone. Its almost like the earlier bliss has been enveloped by pure evil. Unsettling certainly. But what does it all mean?

The third track Bros has similar evil intent lying underneath the surface. Bros begins as a lo-fi blissed out Beach Boys-style track but after two and half minutes the sounds of tortured screams and moans can be heard under the merry-as-can-be melody.  Then nothing, the track continues business as usual with tamborines tapping and guitars strumming. The message? Be as happy as you like people, evil lurks everywhere. Especially like in the Wicker Man where the hippies cheer and hold hands while Edward Woodward burns alive. Fuck I hate hippies.

Track 5 Good Girl/Carrots is another case in point.  The first second sounds like a bomb exploding and glass shattering. Frenetic tabla begins and in the mix sirens are heard only to fininsh so quickly that I wondered whether I’d heard them at all. The bomb sound turns up a couple more times just to fuck with the groove. The vocals start looping, like backmasked gibberish yet still we are firmly in a hippy land where the sun always shines.

Person Pitch is a challenging and fascinating journey. Rewards with repeated listens blah blah fucking blah … man.

2 Responses to “Panda Bear – Person Pitch (Paw Tracks)”

  1. soozadoo Says:

    Remember David Bowie can’t remember anything pre 1981. His neural pathways have been chemically stripped by the 70s that’s why anything post 1981 is shite.

  2. ohhhh, so that is why his stuff is fucked before the 1980’s – I was wondering why. Damn shame!


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