In This Arrangement of Molecules, Pocket Panda establish themselves as new rulers of the Washington rock scene with equal parts heart and mind.
Developed on the basis of a man looking to start a band while pursuing his Ph.D. in molecular biology, Pocket Panda melds the best pieces of folk, rock, electronic, and classical influences with erudite lyricism and instrumentation that only Seattle’s most noteworthy new thinker’s band could bring. Take that for a unique coming together story. Comprised primarily of Eric Herbig, Jordan Cunningham, Chris Allen, Mike Waller, and David Cho, Pocket Panda reinvent the musical wheel two times over with a steady stream of vibrant dynamism that makes them one of the most unconventional, stronger band introductions of the year.
Opening track “There You Go” begins as what may seem like a standard folk-pop number before evolving into a lush soundscape full of commanding violin flourishes courtesy of Cho, smoothly transitioning into the more forthright and incendiary “Baghdad Ballet School”, which sheds the light on war’s devastation. Other staples include “Garden”, a soaring bluegrass-infused number, and the pleasingly avant garde “Afraid of Love”, featuring an especially notable performance on the keys by Waller.