Seeing as New Zealand is the new New York/Seattle/enter music trend area here, might as well review another New Zealand act. Following in the steps, at least in nationality, of D4 and The Datsuns are PanAm. This trio from Auckland aren't as steeped in the garage sound as the former or have an AC/DC fixation like the latter, but they rock all the same. Combining a raw power trio sound with more of a pop sensibility than their aforementioned brethren, the band seems more at home in a Matthew Sweet meets Cracker vein, but with with a more raucous edge. Their debut EP, New Concepts In Sound Recording is a varied affair. Lead single "Long Grass" has a decidedly '60s pop flavor, while on "Tangelo Tree" the Crackerisms start seeping in. There's even a nod to the future with drum machines and synths on the jump-around-your-room sounds of "Song 1." Flying Nun has long been the harbinger of taste in the land of the Kiwi and it's good to know some things never change.
JEREMY P. GOLDSTEIN