If you were to believe Panda Kopanda‘s panda propaganda, you’d turn up to their gig in Pod Sunday night expecting to hear some sort of Pavement derivative group of young men who spend all their time locked up in a room listening to superhip 90s indie. They press all the right doorbells when it comes to stating influences (Pavement, early Grandaddy and Postal Service in the HWCH booklet) and whether this is a cunning ploy to try and ensnare lost hipsters is anyone’s guess. The main thing is that they don’t actually sound like any of those bands at all.
Panda Kopanda sound like the picture above looks. They are shoegaze (not even nu-gaze) and pretty unapologetically so once they actually get onstage. The only similarity they bear to Pavement is that their singer looks a little bit like Stephen Malkmus. Not that there is anything wrong with their music. I quite liked it. They were immediate in parts, and when they went for wanders, it generally swirled in a pleasant rather than a boring way. If only they could get over whatever block it is that keeps them denying their fathers and refusing their names.