Panda Panda – so good, they named it twice, as the story goes! Wait, that’s New York, sorry – Panda Panda are still pretty great, although the rumours of them being a city that never sleeps are currently unconfirmed. What we can confirm is that they’re an exciting new indie rock band from Trondheim, taking shelter under the roomy and welcoming umbrella of the excellent Riot Factory label, and that they’ve got a brand new single called ‘Slacker’ which is very much worth at least 3 minutes and five seconds of your time.
Though the title implies the song is going to take a more meandering approach, a series of powerful opening chords dispel this impression immediately. While it’s not exactly a tense affair, it’s not exactly laid-back either; the structure of the song is complex and rapidly shifting, so you never get a chance to fully settle into a particular rhythm with it. This is, of course, a good thing – even if you’re a few listens in, there’s twists and developments in how the track lays itself out that still surprise and engage – the arrival of the second vocalist, the surprising frenzy of tuneless, discordant guitar riffs in an otherwise very melodic song, ‘Slacker’ keeps you guessing and engaged at every step, and it’s these pleasing subtleties and idiosyncracies which set it apart.
‘Slacker’ is out now via Riot Factory – take a listen below.