“Hey man, nice set” no not the hit song by Filter, but a phrase we’ve all probably said after a gig. It’s something I’m pretty sure I’ve said to the guys in Alright Panther at least once.
Well, they are here to take back the generic colloquialism and turn it into a groovy garage rock EP.
“Rushing Screaming Watercolor” is full of psychedelic lyrical imagery that’s disguised by this erratic repeating guitar riff and backed by a cool melodic bass line. It’s got some of the weird instrumentation of a Television song but it’s a little rougher around the edges.
The EP continues on with “Don’t Look Down”, a song that might be considered math rock if it weren’t so catchy. The guitar work is loose but technical, sparse at first but by the end of it all the song has turned into a straight punk tune.
“Ghost Jeans” was released as a single back in January but it’s since been re-recorded and is sounding better than ever. You can’t help but try and relate to a song about a ghost with nothing to do. One particular verse gets me every time, “visions visions visions of wealth and fame / in forty years my soul will be public domain / I’ve lost receipts to teenage dreams by washing my black jeans”. It’s a highlight for sure and the bridge sounds like something out of a Mr. Bungle album.
“Filament Shake” is another jaunty little tune, it joins the ever-growing collection of songs with “shake, shake, shake…” somewhere in the chorus, which is not a bad thing. The message of “Stay Awake” is simple, STAY AWAKE. The bass line carries this one and it feels more utilitarian than musical at times, as if it was written for the literal purpose of staying awake.
“Is This A Terrarium” is not a terrarium but instead the last track of the cassette. It’s got ups and downs, highs and lows, and everything else a fun rock song should have.
Alright Panther don’t take themselves too seriously, and why would they? It’s way less fun that way. And that’s what I get out of this EP- A band having a damn good time making this music. These songs give off a beautiful sense of simplicity but they’re secretly pretty complex arrangements. This is music to dance to but it fits just as well with staying at home and feeling unsure of yourself.
HEY MAN NICE SET (again, not the Filter song) is available on Limited Edition Green Cassette tape via bandcamp thanks to the fine folks at Grandpa Bay Recordings. Pick one up now that summer is over, we could all use a little warmth in our tape decks.