Album Review Panda Bear & Sonic Boom - Reset

As warm a listen as Sonic Boom’s near-forgotten records must’ve been in lockdown Lisbon.

Panda Bear & Sonic Boom - Reset

The genesis of ‘Reset’, we’re told, wasn’t solely that Panda Bear and Sonic Boom have been collaborating for over a decade now. Nor was it that the latter had relocated to Lisbon where the former was already based. Instead, a byproduct of the move was that Sonic Boom - aka Spacemen 3’s Peter Kemper - found the chance to rediscover his record collection. And where this peeks through is where ‘Reset’ shines. The instantly-recognisable guitar chimes of Eddie Cochrane’s ‘Three Steps To Heaven’ that open ‘Gettin’ To The Point’ and the album as a whole, the equally iconic sweeping strings of The Drifters’ ‘Save The Last Dance For Me’ which introduce ‘Livin’ In The After’ and the infamous “oh ohs” of Randy & The Rainbows’ ‘Denise’ (or Blondie’s ‘Denis’ for that matter) used in ‘Edge of the Edge’ sit alongside a use of textures that marries the then and now. Halfway point ‘In My Body’ descends almost maniacally from vintage psych to dream pop, while ‘Danger’ sees synth pepper more ‘50s style strums and ‘Everyday’, which sees Sonic Boom take on lead vocal, takes on a distinctly Beach Boys hue. The few hints towards more modern fare - the undulating yet ultimately forgettable ‘Whirlpool’, closer ‘Everything’s Been Leading To This’ with its ‘80s keys and distinctly ‘00s indie air - could’ve been left on the cutting room floor, but overall ‘Reset’ is as warm a listen as Sonic Boom’s near-forgotten records must’ve been in lockdown Lisbon.

 

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