mon 15/08/2022

Album: Panda Bear & Sonic Boom - Reset | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Panda Bear & Sonic Boom - Reset

Album: Panda Bear & Sonic Boom - Reset

Breezy and summery psychedelic pop from sunny Portugal

Reset: catchy but disorientating

It’s about 30 years since the ever-influential Spacemen 3 called it a day amid a storm of backbiting and recriminations. Yet in 2022, within a couple of months of each other, the band’s twin powerhouses have both released albums of their own.

However, while Jason Pierce’s Spiritualized let rip an opus of space rock sounds on Everything Was Beautiful, Sonic Boom has linked up with fellow adopted Portuguese and Animal Collective-ist, Panda Bear for something considerably more breezy and poppy, if no less trippy and head-spinning.

Apparently influenced by listening to Sonic Boom’s collection of Fifties and Sixties American doo-wop and rock’n’roll albums for the first time in years, after he finally transported them to his new home. The two long-term friends and collaborators have recorded Reset together, an album which frequently seems to imagine a Joe Meek-produced Everly Brothers backed by the Beach Boys while under the influence of some particularly potent brain spanglers. Uplifting and hip-swinging summer vibes back vocal harmonies that often camouflage something considerably darker, with strange Sixties synthesizer sounds from “Getting’ to the Point”, with its riff lifted from Eddie Cochran’s “Three Steps to Heaven” through to the electronic weirdery of “Everything’s Been leading to This”.

Along the way, Panda Bear and Sonic Boom take on psychedelic surf pop in “Danger”, Lovin’ Spoonful-like sunny and bouncy vibes on “Edge of the Edge” and the wilful hypnotic experimentation of “In My Body” and “Whirlpool”. In fact, Reset is resolutely relaxed and gentle but steers well clear of the mainstream, exuding a distinctly narcotic wooziness, yet an upbeat one with a smile on its face. However, like the Beach Boys before them, Panda Bear and Sonic Boom use catchy melodies to communicate something not entirely wholesome but altogether more disorientating to those who are paying attention.

Uplifting and hip-swinging summer vibes back vocal harmonies that often camouflage something considerably darker

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Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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