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Pardoner is a band from the San Francisco Bay Area, that features members of fellow Bay Area project, Worse. Influenced by OG noisemakers like Sonic Youth and Polvo, Happy Trails is fast paced EP that showcases an aggressive style of shoegaze that you don’t come across too often.
Its opener, “Hover,” kicks off the record that’s got a bit of a west coast punk vibe. Paying homage to their influences, the guitars on the record are disjointed yet catchy. “World Drill” features a snake-y guitar hook that ascends and descends, like the ups and downs of everyday life. The lead vocalist apathetically fires off all of his qualms with society and begrudgingly gets a hair cut to look like everyone else.
“Any Future Is Heaven” features a dizzying guitar riff that is reminiscent to early 90’s Sonic Youth (i.e. “Sugar Kane”) and Dinosaur Jr. The album’s closer “I Don’t Wanna Go Away” is a change pace in terms of the temp displayed on the previous four tracks. Its a much slower and mellower track but still has the frigidity raucous of the first four tracks.
Happy Trails is a short ride, but its catchy hooks and jagged guitar riffs will want you to take that ride over and over.
Originally published on Eargauze.com.