Pardoner: Came Down Different

Whether it's by way of their candid punk rock, the more approachable facet of their compositions or their generally weightier side, it has been made clear that San Francisco's Pardoner has made a solid punk record which has just been released through the estimable Bar/None Records.

Pardoner have had a notable path thus far, delivering a very expressive and angular punk rock close to the lo-fi rock of Pavement of the sentimental punk of Hüsker Dü. Pardoner's sound comes with a sense of sentimentality which compares to what is now being labeled as proto emo, and feels close to bands which defined and shaped a style at a time when emo punk wasn't even close to being a thing. 

After Uncontrollable Salvation from 2017, and its follow up, Playin' On A Cloud which came out two years later, Pardoner return passably ripened, but with a tangible playful intent, and make an album on which they sound easygoing and more assertive than before. Came Down Different is arguably Pardoner's finest, an album which throws equal parts of its focus to the lyrical and the musical fronts, and gives out a kind of sharp rock that's both fun and balanced.

The efficacy of Came Down Different goes way beyond the thrill of its lively singles though, and the record works great en mass, and appears fully collected despite the fact that it was recorded in only two days, hence its observable hastiness. Additionally, super-producer Jack Shirley's contribution makes its presence palpable once more. 

The album's three last tracks, Totally Evil Powers, its title track and the very straightforward Fuck You! come as paragons of the its dynamics, by presenting three discernible aspects of what Pardoner do; their snotty punk angle, a lyrically and instrumentally hefty kind of noise rock, and lo-fi rock immediacy of acts like Polvo to which they are frequently compared.

Pardoner's new album indeed came down different than its predecessors, not by a lot, still, it's more than good enough to finally earn the band some of the attention they've been deserving since their debut.

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