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Pardoner has put out their third single "Pivot Fakie" from upcoming debut full-length Uncontrollable Salvation, out on Father/Daughter Records on September 8. Hailing from San Fransisco, the band has been releasing music on their Bandcamp since 2015, and I'm kicking myself for not finding them sooner.
In addition to making me want to get up from my computer and practice guitar, Pardoner transports me to one of my favorite places: a heightened version of reality where the sun is always poking through a canopy of lush green trees and all I do is walk around with friends, sit on curbs and waste time without ever getting bored (for some reason, alternative rock generally evokes a suburban setting for me, I don't know why…movies?). Within the first few seconds of listening to this band, my ears heaved a metaphorical sigh of relief, immediately thanking the gods for the quality and warmth of their sound. In our current era of 90s rock re-hashing (which I'll admit I often can't help but fall for), they stand out because what they do just works. Really well.
"Pivot Fakie" is a particularly grimy offering following their prior singles. Both singers Max Freeland and Trey Flanigan have perfected the kind of slinky, off-kilter style that I tend to succumb to, and on this one Flanigan gears it up to a slinging holler. This is the type of singing that, if you're like me and had vocal training that won't let you sing anything but pop melodies, is a much longed for achievement. Meanwhile, the guitars wily make their way through anarchic zig zags, periodically suspending into stops that are in keeping with the song's title. Anchored by a propulsive kick drum, the last third of the song descends into screeching madness before a steady, miry grind brings it all to a final halt. Alas, all good things must come to an end. But from September 8 onwards I'll be keeping this album on repeat.