Yet in this era of shortboards, whose shape allows for a higher control and agility over the wave, a paradox has come about with the sound that surfing has been attached to. The Jack Johnson posse of “oh-I’m-so-laid-back-brudda-ness” is just plain nonsensical and nauseating as a genre that it makes me not even want to surf anymore (a completely untrue statement by the author under a breath of heartless hyperbole). It’s as if these songwriters have become more infatuated with the after-surf reefer than the actual activity that goes on in the water.
Thankfully, the Panda Band has brought a nice twist to my animate dismay of surfer music. But to call the Panda Band’s music surfer-music would be like calling Cold War Kids’ music Christian-rock. It would be more acceptable to label the Panda Band as a group of surfers that have actually taken the excitement of their sport and transposed it into song and lyric. There are the aesthetics that most surfers will identify with: the spiritual overtones (“Eyelashes”), the science of waves (“High In Your Saddle”), the athletic bodies (“Lovely Shoulders”), and endless summer love stories (“We’ve Got The Face of the Earth”). But through all this, the Panda Band isn’t in the least bit alienating to those less than seaworthy but rather capable of enrapturing any with their easy on the heart and sharp to the touch take on pop.
[mp3] The Panda Band – Eyelashes
[mp3] The Panda Band – Musical Chairs
BONUS [mp3] The Beach Boys – Surfin’ Safari
BONUS [mp3] Dick Dale – Misirlou
Pick up a copy of the Panda Band's the Vital Chapter here.