Last Plane to Jakarta would like to register its shock at how nobody, and we do mean "pretty much nobody," seems to have much to say about Bloody Panda's Pheromone, due 4/24 from Level Plane. Hype Machine finds nothing; Clusty's blog search (which is the best thing going right now, by the way, despite some load times that're occasionally PS1-reminiscent) gives up 61 hits, most of them old. Pheromone is four songs and forty minutes long, and it reminds me of the rainy day on which I bought Nico's "My Heart Is Empty" 12" approximately one million years ago. I played it at the wrong speed, by accident; I was actually kind of disappointed when the vocals kicked in, 'cause I'd thought it was just this grand cavernous cathedral of dirge. Which it was, in its own way. Just not in the way I'd thought.
Pheromone is that Nico record as it existed for me in a brief window of not-knowing: enormous and slow, removed from the world, and really not as deserving of the Khanate comparisons that seem to be the jumping-off point for most people. The mood here, its deep-toned frigid blacklit shimmer, is about as far from the seething white-hot burn of Khanate as the Anonymous 4 is from Joy Division. I've been listening to it for about a month, and it warrants the word "stunning" in a way that not much music does: not in the sense of "I was quite surprised by just how much I liked it," or "it announces its excellent brashly and loudly," but rather in the sense of "somebody has hit me in the head with a great big rock and I am not sure how long I've been out cold." There's something religious about this music; it's somewhere between an incantation trying to conjure up spirits and a mourning song meants to keep them quietly at rest. When the tempo picks up, as at the end of the third track, "Fever," it's difficult for me not to feel like the world is about to end. It's got that nuclear fog narcotic stupor walk-in deep-freeze vibe. Maybe metal bands are immune to blog buzz? I can't imagine it, but that a band this great - a Brooklyn band this great, no less - are managing to sustain semi-invisibility in this day and age is both frustrating (since they're aweomse) and somewhat gratifying (since invisibility trumps both flying and super-strength, as any right-thinking eight-year-old knows).
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