CD review: Hot Panda, How Come I’m Dead

Let’s say The Flaming Lips were not a band, but an entity capable of intertwining with other entities. In simpler terms, let’s say The Flaming Lips banged The Weakerthans and they had three lovechildren. These lovechildren would be The Horrors, Apples in Stereo and Hot Panda.

Hot Panda’s How Come I’m Dead is one of those albums that makes you warm and content — the auditory equivalent of warm soup. I say this because while it is basically a “loud” album, it also seems to have the intention of putting you in a trance — a warm, constant groove.

As I mentioned, it appears to draw influence from some really amazing groups, and if you like those, you will enjoy this. If you’re the pick-and-choose-a-track type (I know I am), make sure to listen to: “Fuck Shit Up/Hey Hell Hex,” a neat jumbling of sounds with a perfectly raspy voice that just works groovily, “Mindlessnesslessness,” one of those songs meant to invade your ears and make a mess of things and “Evil Nature,” where the background tunes take a backseat to the strong, yet soft vocals.

All in all, this band can scream and rasp and yelp, but it meshes so well with the music that it’s not startling and doesn’t snap you out of the trance it puts you in. Not perfect, but that’s what I like about music. They were recently in Winnipeg, and if you missed out but heard good things, pick this up. It’s pretty legit.