Yes In My Backyard is a semiweekly column showcasing MP3s from new and emerging local talent.
New York’s Bloody Panda are downright scientific with their avant-gloom. Second album Summon (Profound Lore) layers riffs to perfection and then shoots out in all directions: art-splatter drumming, dissonant keyboard icicles, a little smidgen of black metal, and the ashen throat of singer Yoshiko Ohara, whose dynamic range covers the ground between Diamanda and PJ Harvey in drones, squeals, and screeches. The intense “Pusher” leads with a Bullhead-era Melvins riff that phases and bends in nauseating microtones before slowly speeding up like a motorboat taking off. When the track finally kicks off, it’s like the uglier, extreme metal version of fellow New Yorkers Made Out Of Babies–all chug-and-pound, with the completely unhinged Ohara pushing her vocal chords to the breaking point.
What can you tell me about this riff?
Josh Rothenberger, guitarist: I wrote the intro as a simple meditation on oscillation. Played on two strings, one left un-manipulated, the other constantly bending in and out of western true intonation. The speed of the picking increases and decreases as the pitch rises and falls. The effect is that of a saw blade sound wave being sped up and then slowed down. The increase of speed naturally causes a rise in the wave’s pitch. Blake [McDowell, keyboardist] adds a sine wave that peaks and dips with the guitar and continues its pattern during the next riff.
Blake McDowell, keyboardist: Playing a keyboard part in such a different register as the rest of the band makes this song unique for me. I picture my sound as a distant banshee to Yoshiko’s upfront wail. I follow her.
What’s your most memorable New York show?
Rothenberger: Probably our very first show six years ago at the old Continental. I get sentimental when I think about the first time Yoshiko made me shit my pants with her scream.
McDowell: Playing L’Amours the night of the 2003 blackout was great too.
What’s your favorite place to eat and hang in New York?
Rothenberger: I’ve lived in the lower east side for the last eight years. My neighborhood spots are super: 151 Rivington, the Pink Pony, EarthMatters, Lolita, Lit, Sweet Paradise, Pitt Street Pool, The Stone, Bikram Lower East Side…
McDowell: I like my neighborhood in Red Hook a lot. Any place near the water and quiet works.