Ultra Panda – The New Bear EP

ultra-panda-the-new-bearBand: Ultra Panda
EP: The New Bear
Label: Atypeek Music / Chanmax Records
Release date: Out now (free download on bandcamp)
Sounds like: Ultra Samourai Panda Level 440

Still remaining in relative obscurity; France’s Ultra Panda still haven’t broken out of the underground. In fact, I’m betting they’re even too obscure for the underground; they’re hidden in the Upside Down. This group, comprising of three dudes, combine drums + bass + keys + voice to create their dizzy and turbulent sound. Two years ago I formed some words into an order of sorts to talk about their album, Satan, Salsa – which was an erratic dance-punk racket of wild rhythmic energy that barely kept still (and incidentally, one you should definitely check out).

Quite by accident, I stumbled upon their bandcamp again to find they’d quietly recorded an EP back in March, called The New Bear – a powerful and potent blast of 4 tracks in 15 minutes. Opening track, Hunter, begins with rolling drumbeats, a heavy synth-lead, backed by the grumbling bass. It has that fuzz-rock strut of Death From Above 1979 and the big hip-shaking chorus of Daryl Palumbo’s many, many dance-rock projects (*looks at Head Automatica*) sandwiched inside this keyboard-led throwdown. The next track, New Bear, is a somewhat more funk-led affair; you’ll want to dance to this, there’s no doubt – it’s a thrusting, limb-jerking slab of post-punk energy and technical riffage that mixes between moments of roaring heaviness to monitor-smashing, electro-freak-outs.

Dark Knight is a 2 minutes and 10 seconds blast of high-octane, frenzied bass-driven punk rock. This is microphone-swinging destruction, backed by the sashaying electronics, huge, growling bass attack and rapid fire vocal yelps this is a driving, rhythmic frenzy of recklessness and it’s fucking brilliant. In contrast, the weirdness is supplied in droves on MTGMA; a gloomy, almost Gothic-sounding track that drags itself forward through multi-layered vocal effects (seriously creepy) alongside some squealing strings (supplied by Quatuor 440). There’s an almost Greg Puciato-vibe to the vocals as well (reaching The Black Queen-levels of falsetto) which sit nicely with the orchestral chimes and post-hardcore build. Dream-like and drug-addled, MTGMA is perplexing, ending in a flourish of fractured strings, screeches and ghostly blips.

There’s no excuse not to get involved in this really – Ultra Panda are a strange, exciting and fulfilling rush of ecstatic delight.  Download the EP now. Alternatively, The New Bear is also available through Chanmax Records on CD.


Ultra Panda
Atypeek Music
Chanmax Records
Ultra Panda Bandcamp

Lizard Hips

Junior Vice President of Keep It Fast. In other news: I work in social media, talk about dinosaurs, run a book club and have amazing facial hair. I am also a male man who is still not dead.

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