Monday, May 24, 2010

Review #118: Pandora - Shoot Me I'll Pay You (EP) (2008)


Year: 2008
Genre: Punk Rock
Post-Punk, Hardcore
Radar Music
15 Minutes (Short)
My Rating:

Pandora is a band from Eupen, Belgium. The group formed in 2006. Since then, they've come a considerably long way... they nearly made it on to the Rock am Ring festival for this June (only finishing at second place in the contest), and they have an album, two EPs, and a music video out as of now. They are one of the most popular bands in the European "grunge-punk" scene, and their musical style takes elements from bands of the early '90s like Nirvana and Hole, as well as hardcore punk and splicing in their own shade of grimness and twangy guitars into the mix.

"Shoot Me I'll Pay You" was the band's first release ever -- it's a four song CD. I think it might be out of print. But for those who have heard it, it contains four early versions of some songs that eventually got on Melancholic Freedom. The production here is somewhat less polished... sometimes it's a good thing and sometimes it's not as good of a thing. But here we basically have an audible snap-shot of the band in their very early days. I'm not even sure if that's Roman in the back of the cover art! Either that or he just has a different hairstyle. Hard to tell. But yeah, this is their first EP and it's the same one I've been talking about this whole time so now I'm going to talk about the songs.

1. Like a Pissed Flower in Spring
The opening guitar bit is a little dirtier, but every bit as cool. Then comes the No-Wavey verse section. Annie's voice isn't all echoey like in the newer version, but more just calmly spoken and stuff. The song has a much more lo-fi feel to it. Annie's voice sounds more ragged when she's yelling in the chorus section. One of the faster songs on the CD. There are things about the other version I like more, and there are things I like about this version more. As soon as I first ever heard this song for the first time, I could tell this was going to be a good band.

2. Bored
A slow hardcore punk-type song. "Whoooaaaa, Mr. Bloody Knife". Damn, Annie's gotten away with fucking MURDER! BLOODEH MURDAH!! Know why she says "My enemies should stay, I want my friends to get out" so much? 'Cause she wants them to meet her other friend(?), Mr. Bloody Knife. Like, he's gonna get all stabby n' stuff. There's another weird-o sol-o in this song-o. Pretty nice melody, especially combined with the beat, which is a legit kind of beat.
3. Bottle of Wine
The first thing you'll notice is that the guitar here is a lot cleaner than on the two songs before this one. I noticed the PATTERN! With this EP, each song is slower than the one before it. THAT is how it works, kiddies. It's pretty much a song about a person relationship with the wine they drink. I like Annie's vocals here. The melody is good. Reminds me of a sunny day, like the two songs before it also do but I forgot to mention that or something.

4. Born In My Eyes
The guitar in the beginning of the song sounds weird, but in a good way. To be honest, this song is kinda depressing. It's very mellow and slow and bleak-feeling. In the first buildup to the chorus, the song is picked up a little bit a light beat. The chorus starts, and suddenly it feels a little more upbeat. It's a very angsty but heartfelt song. In the second chorus, there's some guitar noize that floats around from place to place. Definitely the longest song on here, being six and a half minutes long!

So, there you have it. This was the first Pandora record I ever listened to, and upon hearing it I instantly become a fan. Something just made me keep coming back to it. As I said before, all of the songs here were later featured on "Melancholic Freedom", but these versions are more low-budget sounding. Luckily, before the contents of the EP disappeared off of the MySpace page of the band for good, I had uploaded all of the songs to YouTube, so you can listen there if you didn't get a chance to hear them earlier. It's a pretty good look at the beginnings of a band which is now touching upon greatness. So, stay legit, friends.


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