One Morning Left

Panda Penguin Vol.2

Written by: BL on 27/08/2009 16:10:44

You know, first impressions count for a lot when checking out a band. Take this band for example: you have your super neon coloured myspace profile complete with idiotic looking facial poses and a horrific splooge of green "spunk" surrounding their faces on the banner - kind of tells me what I'll be listening to before I even hit play. One Morning Left are a band from Finland effectively cashing on the recent explosion of synth driven electronic screamo. If you have a disdain for anything remotely associated with a bunch of kids playing electronic video game sounds over a blurry of breakdowns with screamo vocals then I advise you get the hell out of here before you rage so hard you might explode. I have to try and be subjective as always but this band really does so many thing aggravating that it becomes hard to find sympathy. "Panda Penguin Vol.2" is a continuation of their last EP "Panda <3 Penguin", and aside from the awful, awful title (these trying-to-be-cute names fail so hard), features the same first 6 tracks from the last EP (so basically if you bought the first one you might be pretty miffed). Effectively this review will therefore encompass both EPs.

The first 6 songs are the most thoroughly half baked, half assed, and the most shallowest form of bland electro screamo I've come across of late. Everything here has already been done well enough in plenty of other bands not to mention the bigger names like Attack Attack! and I See Stars! The synths are usually the highlight for these bands though here they're so simple minded in their construction and have no depth to them whatsoever sounding like a bunch of random electronic melodies or lame and cheesy Euro dance beats simply for the sake of being there. The same really goes for the vocals and the guitars: death growls, whiny screaming and singing, pig squeals overlayed ontop of a senseless assault of breakdowns, horror chords and power chord choruses. The only half decent track is "OutRonique" which is the old outro track (now just track 6) and has no vocals, but a strong repeating melody. The other tracks are about as forgettable as they get and have such ridiculous names like "BD_L3FTOVERZ!" and "SMS Pissing", neither funny nor interesting but purely stupid and trashy attempts to appeal to brainless scenesters.

The actual new content of the EP in the last 3 tracks is actually marginally superior to the old EP tracks, which is a good thing (at last) because one would have otherwise lost all hope completely. Robotune vocals are introduced in these songs, but to be honest compared to Miksu's weak clean vocals that didn't use them in the first 6 songs this will seem like a bonus anyday. The guitars are slightly more technical too, the start of "My Brand New Nikes Made Me Do It" actually seemed pretty cool, some exotic harmonised minor guitar riffing. And while the final track "Jack The Flipper" has this hideous vocal intro, its an interesting (if not STOPBREAKDOWNING) track where the midsong beatdown has an odd instrument backing that sounds like a Harpsichord and some decent harmonised death metal riffing near the end followed with some more creative dissonant synths.

So that's it then, some redeeming factors in the last 3 songs which unfortunately can't save a sinking ship that is "Panda Penguin Vol.2". In some ways had this EP been just those 3 songs then this writer wouldn't have perhaps been so harshly critical of this band's endeavours and I would have considered maybe scoring a 5. As it stands though, repackaging the same 6 songs you already made might be good for a newcomer - but to your existing fans it's a bit of a middle finger to them for spending money on something they'll have to buy again if they want new material. That's something I find hard to forgive.

4

Download: My Brand New Nikes Made Me Do It, Sweden Hockey Dreams, Jack The Flipper
For the fans of: Attack Attack!, I Explode Like, Euro Dance, Neon Shoes
Listen: Myspace

Release date: 29.06.2009
Dockyard 1/Pain Inc

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