Suprise! David Pajo (who became known from his time in Slint) releases a new solo album under his Papa M alias, the first for absolutely ages. Nine tracks of American sound that we predict, on the basis of the single ‘Walking On Coronado’, to be excellent. LP / CD / cassette tape editions available on Drag City.
6/10 Clinton Staff review, 10 November 2016
It's been a dark couple of years for David Pajo so it's good to see him alive and well and making music. He has been involved in some great projects over the years and his back catalogue reads like some of the greatest moments in recent indie history ...Slint, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy,Tortoise, Stereolab. Let's just forget about Zwan eh?
Up with them has also been some of his solo projects such as the delightful debut self titled Ariel M album which no home should be without. On this surprise return there are moments that compare with those great low end instrumental jams. 'Walking on Coronado' is a nice strummy workout that screams 1997 with intertwining folky guitars over a simple drum machine backing. The opening 'Flatliners' is dark and heavy and nearest to Slint without coming close to the chilling dynamics of that band. Elsewhere Pajo veers around a hodge-podge of styles from the bitcrushed Aphex Twin messaround of 'The Love Particle' to the proto-metal dalliance which is 'Green Holler'. It's actually a whole load of fun. Pajo doesn't appear to be bothered about keeping his indie halo intact and is just enjoying playing music. This can be a curse and a blessing though. 'Bloom' is crashing Metallica riffs that an artist with his subtlety should be able to do in his sleep. The closer 'Little Girl' is a serious worry. It's the only track with vocals and...well... I wish he hadn't. First up in a post Savile world the lyrics should concern parents everywhere but also the tune is awful and is ridden over by the worst guitar solo you've ever heard.
The last two tracks have knocked the album down from a respectable 7 to an ok-ish 6. It's less of an album than a mix tape of musical bits and bats Pajo has been up to since his recovery. Great to see him back making music but some things should have perhaps remained unheard.
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