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Panther Secret Lawns

  • Words: Ken Taylor
  • Label: Fryk Beat
  • XLR8R Rating: 9/10

The one-man band about Portland known as Panther (a.k.a. Charlie Salas-Humara) receives some shit-hot accolades. "Best fucking band I've ever seen," raved Portland's alt weekly, and the writer was probably right. These 13 songs go by in 30 minutes, much like a live Stooges album-unrivaled in its hyper pace, guttural wails, and sheer frenetic energy. But Panther also has pop songwriting chops; when he doesn't, he punctuates his over-the-top falsetto with shouts of "Muthafucka!" to confound and evoke epic laughter, as he does on the disc's gem, "You Don't Want Yr Nails Done." Elsewhere, tracks like "How Does it Feel?" are nothing like the Velvet Underground or Avril Lavigne songs of the same name, but rather run headlong into synth-horn and drum-machine shakedowns full of Prince-octave squeals and cryptic-yet-playful lyrics. Everyone's forgotten about Beck, and it's probably for the better-it's Panther's time to shine.

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