Panda Bear – Afterburner

9 Apr

Hey everyone! Sorry for missing my post last week. Between work and Relay for Life, I had almost no sleep. I also saw the Mountain Goats with Matt and Anthony in Ithaca, which was loads of fun! But of course that means that this weekend I will be posting twice!…again!

Now let’s cut straight to the chase: Panda Bear‘s new album Tombow leaked, and the web is going crazy. Now, I know why the internet is going crazy… but at the same time I don’t. I mean, it’s not that all of the songs on the album weren’t released as singles over the course of the past year or anything. But I guess it’s the fact that it’s official which counts! An official leak anyway… The official release date is April 19th! But I guess since Animal Collective became famous from leaks, this counts as official.

Many people already did full album reviews, and for the sake of attracting audiences, they gave the album sub-par ratings. This is definitely the result of extreme expectations, selling out to your audience, and haters hating. I personally think this album hints of a sort of brilliance, which you can only begin to appreciate as the play count rises.


Don’t let that discourage you! I’ll slap you if you tell me that Person Pitch was nominated album of the year based on the first listen through. Panda Bear makes experimental music. This means that it is different and weird, and is meant to disturb the status-quo.

The amount of effort that must have gone into this album is astounding. I seriously doubt you will hear even a fraction of the sounds… ever. Your ear isn’t trained properly to discern the subtle intricacy of such a masterpiece. And I have been picking out random sound clips in Animal Collective songs for years. In that perspective, this album is a masterpiece. And if you really want to know what I’m talking about, then follow these steps:

Pick a song off Tomboy, or any good Animal Collective song.

Listen to it, but do not concentrate on any music. Simply hear past it and listen to the hidden sounds.

You will be surprised at how much sound is behind the actual music. I did a post on my old blog regarding this. A particularly good song for this is Animal Collective’s Brothersport. Seriously trippy stuff. And if it’s not working for you, try more magic haha.

And now the review: I’ve decided that I’m going to review only one song off the album. If I was going to review the entire album, this post would be roughly over 9000 words long. Plus I still got tomorrow to post and I don’t want to burn myself out. But don’t fret, because I chose my favorite song off the album, which definitely will be well worth the read for you.

Afterburner is the name of the song. At almost 7 minutes long, it is the longest track on the album, and features rocket sounds. Most likely the “afterburner” in question, the song opens up with a sample of a mid sized missile being launched. It is immediately followed by a tribal dance beat, to be joined by a really nice synth, some sort of hyena animal squealing, and Panda Bear himself singing his drone-styled lyrics, which are completely incomprehensible to me.

Nothing unusual for Panda Bear, regarding sound and lyrics. What is unusual for Panda Bear is the dance beat. This song can easily be described as psychedelic trance! This song should be played at clubs. Not that psychedelic trance is a new thing… it’s just that in this form it most definitely is! Unlike most psychedelic trance, it doesn’t rely solely on some heavy beat and super synth-focused builds and drops. Rather it is more relaxed, upbeat, and tribal. I feel like all dance music has to be at least in some form tribal.

This song effectively puts the drone into trance, as those two rightfully should be paired! Being this sort of drone trance fusion, the song really changes very little over the course of the almost 7 minutes. But that is what dance music is! I repeat! DJ’s! PLAY THIS SONG AT YOUR NEXT GIG.

And if you are one of those who are absolutely terrified of repetitiveness, don’t fret. For some reason, the last 3 minutes sound like a completely new song. I really don’t know why. The lyrics end, certain parts fade out, and what is left is an amazing beat! Nothing actually changes… but listen to that bassline! And those trippy bird sounding things! And tribal drums!

Panda Bear definitely deviates from psychedelic concept music here, and creates this amazingly addictive and mesmerizing dance experience, which honestly was completely unexpected and turned out to be a very intriguing surprise. Dance music may yet have a hope!

And that is only the second to last song on the album! Considering it’s leaked nature, it shouldn’t be too hard for any of you to find.
And if this album truly does not live up to Person Pitch and disappoints you… then jokes on you! I feel like the first song on the album sums up the album in a beautiful and psychedelic way – You can count on me. The bastard is a genius.



P.S. If you are upset that this album doesn’t  sound like Person Pitch, you might be a little dense. But I sympathize. My recommendation is to listen to the song Slow Motion over and over again. You will get it… hopefully  &D

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