by Richard Archer
PAMs – Phasers (EP, April 2017)
On ‘PAMs Phase #1’, PAMs established themselves as masters of quirk and chaos, songs such as ‘Don’t Push Me’ sounding like a boozy, parallel universe version of the Scooby Doo gang having a dust-up inside your stereo. It was thrilling stuff, so it’s good to have them back for a second round.
On ‘Phasers’, they are moving toward a more honed end result, and if that sounds disconcerting then don’t panic – there’s still plenty of ruckus there to enjoy such as the glam-for-a-bit ‘Fun’, on which bass player Satori Kurosawa shouts:
“If I cant have no fun, I don’t want nothing at all”
Audibly, the production has moved away from the murk of the previous cassette but that gives the new set of songs a particular character of their own and suits the refinement in performance that is apparent.
Maybe different influences are permeating the band right now. The band see-saw between Ramones style sprints (‘No Shoes’ is Ramones as played by the Runaways) and a slick wheels-on-tarmac groove worthy of bands like Crime (‘Comped To Death’ and ‘Pinback’ in particular).
It’s nice to see a band with an idiosyncratic nature like PAMs move around within their sound rather than repeat the same recipe and full credit goes to them for upping the ante.