Credits: Stephen Carradini
Post-rock grew up out of a desire to put more artistry into "rock," and flourished with its brand of orchestration-heavy, sweeping landscapes. Recently, another wave of artists wanting to put more artistry into rock has appeared, but from a different direction. The high ideals of prog rock have been appropriated, but without the pretentiousness that much prog suffered from in its long-winded vamps: it's all optimistic, now. Bands like Fang Island, Delicate Steve, and All Tiny Creatures create frenetic, complex, but jubilant pieces of music. I dubbed it optimistic prog, but I still feel bad about that because the word prog has such terrible connotations in music circles.
Whatever the name of the genre, the three men of The Panda Resistance play wordless, beautiful music that spans the gamut from crunchy, low-end riffs to soaring melodies, with plenty of modified tones and melodies in between. The band doesn't crush with volume, as the snare is rarely used as more than something to tap against. Instead, they aim to amaze and please, playing incredible melodies in a variety of tones on the guitar. The bassist and drummer keep melodic and rhythmic consistency. (The drummer had a bell kit set up above his tom.) The band really has its mix down, as the three-piece sounded like one cohesive unit.
The songs were beautiful and well-formed; the band was genuinely excited to be playing them, as evidenced by their smiles. There was a smile on my face too. If you're a fan of progressive, unique music that doesn't conform to song structures or genre conventions, The Panda Resistance can show you a good time.