Pan Pan Medico, the third album by Vancouver’s Hinterland, is a study in contrasts. From the new wave-flavoured synth-rock propulsion of “Detwiller Pavilion” and “Somatoform” to the haunting ambiance of “Future Ghost” and the jangly dreampop of “You Speak < I’m Silent”, the album is anything but predictable. What holds the whole thing together is the confidence with which the band swings from distortion-saturated rock to ethereal layers of electronic sound. Working again with Caleb Stull (who also produced 2006’s The Picture Plane), Hinterland explores both darkness and light on Pan Pan Medico. The album takes its title from a nautical distress call, and the lyrics of singer Michaela Galloway more often than not express a strong desire to escape—from obsessive thoughts, from earthly bonds, and from deep-seated resentments. The band bolsters these themes with a signature sound that critics have described as “epic” (Vancouver Courier), “intelligent, thoughtful indie rock” (Columbia Journal), and “nearly flawless” (See Magazine).
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