NY QUARTET PANDA CITY BRINGS BARS AND GROOVES IN EQUAL MEASURE ON THEIR EP “BAD BLOCKS”

The musical melting pot that is New York City has always housed connections between rap, jazz, and punk, from the Beastie Boys to Show Me the Body, and NYC quartet Panda City have brought their own intriguing approach to this stylistic intersection with their EP Bad Blocks, backing intensely-delivered, lyrically-sharp verses with the type of controlled chaos seen in jazz and hardcore punk in equal measures.

Each of the six tracks leave an impression due to the propulsive physical and creative energies they bring to the table, but the highlight is the opening track, titled Under the Influence. The track makes the most of its four minute length, letting the darkly atmospheric instrumentation progressively unfold over the course of its opening minute, before vocalist Clacc steps to the mic and delivers a fiery extended verse, as the instrumentation evolves but never expands past his control; the same credit could be given to guest rapper Dyce in the latter half.

It is an excellent introduction to the following five tracks, which shift lyrical gears to discuss relationships and the drama they entail, but keeps the same energy and inventive progressions of the opener. Panda City have dropped a concise EP that wastes no time and establishes them as an act to follow.