Spotlight \

The Panda Band

Who? Even without a proper album, Perth sensations the Panda Band — frontman Damian Crosbie, bassist David Namour, keyboardist Stephen Callan, guitarist/vocalist Chris Callan, drummer Gabriel Nicotra — scored some serious international props in 2005 thanks to key dates in spots like Austin, New York, and Los Angeles. The quintet officially formed in 2003 after rising out of late-’90s group Philius Phog and released its first studio album, This Vital Chapter, three years later.

What’s the Deal? The Panda Band’s squiggly, space-age indie pop floats courtesy of blasting brass and glee-club oohs and ahhs. It all sounds positively peppy, even when on “Sleepy Little Deathtoll Town,” Crosbie channels Isaac Brock to croon about his decrepit, STD-ridden village: “Got drunks in the parks in their brown paper bags / The sailors hit the streets now to pick up any disease going round.”

Fun Fact: The Panda Band are returning to the States armed with both new songs and new jokes. “We’re very excited about coming to America, just like the Eddie Murphy character from the movie of the same name,” Crosbie told SPIN.com. “Not because of its rich cultural diversity or impressive political structure, nor its topographical vastness or its historical relevance to the development of Western culture…but, simply, because its the nation that gave birth to Miss Rickie Lake, Jerry Springer and the glorious hotdog. Extra sauce please, ma’am.” MIKE GREENHAUS

Now Hear This: The Panda Band – “Eyelashes” DOWNLOAD MP3

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On the Web: thepandaband.com

Tags: Spotlight