Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Pitstop: Night Panther

                                                         (photo by Kelly Kurteson)
Considering how many times I've wandered into a Night Panther set in the past year, it's seemed kind of a given that Night Panther were worthy of my affections - from first charming me with their sassy head bops and high falsetto wails at I Guess I'm Floating's CMJ Floating Fest in 2012 to now, after the release of their debut self-titled full length, it completely escaped my notice that I've yet to feature them. A terrible mistake on my part, for sure.

Without beating around the bush, Pennsylvania's Night Panther are modern day glam rock; clearly influenced by Queen but not letting it define them. Night Panther are dazzlingly flamboyant and sexy in a far more classic sense than we get nowadays harkening back to the days of subtlety and romance instead of hot pants and twerking and stop just short of Prince-level babymaking prowess.

Their melodies are winsome and inescapable, their electronic elements a formidable backbone but employed with a smart and methodically deft hand. Take "Fire", part of what makes the track so instantly accessible lies in its pristine vocals and clear cut delivery. Sure, it spirals into a delightful climax and a varied outro but you're hooked long before the crescendoing synths make themselves truly known.  That embrace of proper songcraft first/textures later is what makes Night Panther consummate pop professionals.  Their songs don't really on fancy bells and whistles to leave a lasting impression but pop and sizzle on the band's talents. One listen to Night Panther and you're sure to be humming those infectious driveby melodies for days.

Night Panther's self-titled full length debut is out digitally now but for the physical collector there's a limited edition gold 7" featuring "Delta" and "Fire" out on Small Plates Records here.

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