Unexpected pop landscapes that do justice to the band’s name
With a self-titled debut album released in 2017, followed by the EP ‘Tréveris’ in 2022, Pandan-Lagl releases now their second studio work entitled ‘Teatro del absurdo’. More articulate, varied, and ambitious than its predecessor, ‘Teatro del absurdo’ has been recorded, mixed, and mastered with Javier Ortiz at Estudios Brazil and, this time, the technical display has been remarkable. Among other things, the duo acquired up to five vintage Roland and Korg drum machines for the occasion, in addition to a small, old Casio MT-68 synthesizer. All of this is accompanied by their usual arsenal of vintage guitars and amplifiers since, as it is well known, both Cristina Arroyo and JC Peña also belong to the muscular Madrid-based band, El relevo alemán.
From the enigmatic Venetian plague doctor mask that appears on the cover (alluding to the pandemic during which the album was composed) and throughout the entire repertoire, both the cryptic verse and the characteristic sarcastic humor of the duo coalesce the different stories and places where lyrics will lead us to. Unexpected pop landscapes that do justice to the band’s name (a brand of cartridges that fail the hunter at the decisive moment, belonging to the mythical comic by André Franquin ‘Idées noires’) and they do so especially in some quasi-gothic moments (Un cuento de hadas), even apocalyptic ones (Nachthexen) where, due to its industrial timbre, music appeals to our flawed human condition, framing perfectly the crisis of convictions, faith and, in general, the uncertainty and insecurity produced by contemplating the development of a world which today we perceive in dual manners. A world with which we interact on both a macro and micro scale at the same time, expressed through mirror forms that were unimaginable just a few years ago and whose pronounced neoliberal decadence brings it closer to collapse.
An exciting journey of redemption that includes, among others, references to war comics (‘Battlefields’ by Garth Ennis), a retrospective of Karl Marx’s calamitous personal life (Tréveris), a portrait of the shadow of those who win (El karma del tiburón blanco), some dark youthful love misadventures (Lomas del Rey) and even a tragicomic American epic (La siesta del burro). Quite a journey! In JC’s words -I have tried not to fall into tantrums, into postmodern cynicism that leads to a dead end. After all, we are human and music brings us together. Isn’t that incredible? (…).