The Panbers – Volume 1
Here’s an Indonesian psychedelic record with lots of fuzz grooves, some sound effects, borderline psychotic vocals and a totally whacked out use of the English language. The band consists of drums, bass, guitar, organ and vocals and it is one of those records that make you realize how endless the sound possibilities are for a classic rock line up. I especially like the heavy use of the fuzz guitar that doubles the bass (check out “Together We Dance“), that reduces the impact of the guitar to almost nothing and can probably only be fully appreciated by dogs.
Judging from the lyrics, the guys who formed the Panbers were not fully aware of the dark vibes that radiate from their record, since the lyrics are pretty upbeat and optimistic. They were clearly on a very good trip. One track opens with the Frankensteinesque shout: “Disco music good!” while a very nice bass and Hammond groove sets in. This record can’t be older than 1976 so The Panbers were pretty early to recognize disco music, although there really is no trace of disco on their record at all. They were just too trippy to see any antagonism between disco and rock, which is illustrated by another song that has the great line: “every music and melody I love”, and in a particularly pretty interlude with oriental flutes and a sitar imitating guitar the singer confesses his love to the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin.
There’s another homage on the record dedicated to their city, Jakarta. “Jakarta City Sounds” is probably the best track on the record with a cool sound collage in the middle.