Pop & Hiss

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In Rotation: James Pants

April 26, 2011 | 10:32 am

Jamespants One of the most weirdly engaging new wave/dance/experimental records to come out this year (though not actually out until May 3), James Pants’ third album is a musical curio that feels completely out of time. The album features cheap-sounding keyboards, muffled falsetto vocals, buried--but driving-- dance-punk beats, ‘70s boogie rock, plucky guitar rhythms and more oddball sound-effects than a Dr. Who episode, and sounds like it was recorded in a shag-carpeted, wood-paneled basement with old analog tape.

But what’s so curious and refreshing about “James Pants” is the intent behind his sound. Like fellow musician/producer Ariel Pink, Pants is searching for a specific sonic palette far removed from the high-tech, ultra crisp production style that digital recording has allowed even the most underground acts. On “James Pants,” he’s found it, and the result is catchy and addictive.

--Randall Roberts

James Pants
“James Pants”
(Stones Throw)