Parallel-dash-Parallel. Hot Panda, Go Outside.

In order to draw a line sharp enough to incise any form of lasting impression on anyone in this day and age of instantaneous infatuation and swifter upchucking of any given flavour of the month it has to be pretty fine. And preferably runs closely between convention and innovative creativity. Smudged either way and you're just the next Deerhunter, or of Montreal, or blur things further and you'll wind up Etch A Sketching The Strokes. Edmonton, Alberta's Hot Panda at times sound like an eloquently compiled mess of the aforementioned, not least because Chris Connelly opts to seemingly impersonate Bradford Cox (Language), and Kevin Barnes (One in the Head, One in the Chest) and Casablancas (intermittently), whilst sporadically favouring a polychromatic blend of the three at various points across this, their third full-length Go Outside.

Ironically – or perhaps just pseudo-ironically Go Outside is concertedly the sort of record best enjoyed indoors; basked in beneath the warm glare of desk lamp when sonically corroded by the crappiest of Apple speakers. For all the machismo purportedly intrinsic to its release (the soaring willy which embellishes its sleeve; the hushed mania of their standout stock Future Markets; the unassailable arrogance pumped into any punk album) it's their tenderness which not only intrigues initially but swiftly enamours too. Littered Coins, for instance, comes across as Deer Tick counting shrapnel in the bleary wake of their Divine Providence binge only to renounce all alcohol forever more as morose strings provide the tracks along which Connelly's rambling vocals may roll.

Reduced to a weed-stained whine on the crackly Mangum melodramatics of Holidays and an acrobatic specimen sharing the genetics of those of Black Francis and David Longstreth on the LP's title track, it's undoubtedly the main attraction to Go Outside; the Olympics to London's otherwise placid estival season, one sustained by lethargy and ethanol. Not that this one permits any form of letup, however momentary: See You All Around is a spasming trash pop fling of a thing, like The Breeders caught on a New Porno hook whilst the serenity of Boats recalls – once again – the technicolored dreamboat that is Barnes further beautifying Maryland lovelies Beach House. There's then the frenetic bonus that is Negative Thinking Patterns, which basically assumes the unrestrained raucous The Horrors could've harnessed had they tempered their latest psych burlesque with some of the purposeful antagonism of Strange House.

Hot Panda may not impose the most bedazzling of dashes, but by 'eck do they draw some rather worthy parallels.

Jamie Holloway.