Death Sentence: PANDA!, Insects Awaken

Death Sentence: PANDA!, Insects Awaken

It’s kinda odd describing the San Franciscan band Death Sentence: PANDA! I remember when I was living in L.A. we used to drive past Panda Express and scream, “Stop eating Pandas!” I guess it’s sort of like that, or maybe post-punk, free-jazz, noise-folk.

Their latest album, Insects Awaken, is also odd to describe. Most of their songs are some combination in part of flute, xylophone, pitch-shifted clarinet (hell, that just sounds cool in a Gothic, band-geekazoid sort of way), and Kim West’s chaotic vocal barking. They credit the direction of their latest tome to Chinese and Korean folk music, ragtime, and New Orleans second line, with a healthy dose of hardcore punk sprinkled in. Kim West’s “singing? with a question mark” reminded me mildly of Austin’s own Kimberly Freeman from One-Eyed Doll, and then on “No Enemies,” she completely throws me for a loop by actually “singing with no question mark.” There was melody. It was pretty.

Probably the best way to describe this band is fun. They are fun, infectious, and don’t seem to take themselves too seriously. I would definitely check them out live, although I will warn that the noise experimentation straddles that fine line of human tolerance. There is a point where shrill, high-pitched, warbly reed instruments will drive you insane and actually make your ears bleed. So my advise? Take Death Sentence: PANDA! in small doses.

(Upset The Rhythm -- http://www.upsettherhythm.co.uk/; Death Sentence: PANDA! -- http://www.myspace.com/deathsentencepanda)
BUY ME: Amazon

Review by . Review posted Wednesday, November 11th, 2009. Filed under Reviews.

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