Label: Too Pure Release date: 11/10/10 Link: MySpace Panda & Angel seem like a band who like to take things easy. After their eponymously titled debut album was critically acclaimed in 2006, they disappeared for a bit, only to resurface in 2008 and meekly request fan feedback on new material via their MySpace page. And it's another full two years later that they're releasing this double A side single, 'Crooked Rain'/'The End Is Not So'. And while the world moves fast and Panda & Angel might find that such a sloth-like pace has a detrimental effect on their success with the adult-onset ADHD Twitter generation, it's our loss, because singles like this are absolutely worth waiting for. A rather obvious Pavement reference, 'Crooked Rain' is a charming song. There is something distinctly Malkmus-esque about Carrie Murphy's deep deadpan earnest vocals which marries perfectly with the rich instrumentation. The overall sound is much fuller than their earlier material, and perhaps these four years were necessary to appropriately mature their musical direction. A little quirk to the track is that it's book-ended by two sections of perfect 90s crunching guitar, which contrasts nicely with its twee melodic main body. 'The End Is Not So' is a thematic continuation of the central section of 'Crooked Rain'. Despite lots of strings and elaborate choral vocals, it's remarkably understated; an unsurprising musical trait, perhaps, from a band who have actively requested criticism. As with 'Crooked Rain', there's a neat little twist - just when you're least expecting it, in the last few seconds of the track, the sound distorts into a noisy feedback-y end complete with chanting. This is a clever and exceedingly talented band who are intensely likeable on record and who completely deserve a little patience. Photobucket