Pan Am: Pan Am
By Rick Hobbs
Self-produced self-titled debut album from this Auckland three-piece chugs along like a train about to run out of track. Probably best known for Vodafone's use of their song Long Grass, I was surprised at how diverse sounding the album is. It shifts from melodic songs like Superman, where vocalist Paul Barrettt sounds a little like Tim Finn, through to balls-out rockers like Supa Sam and Interstate Boy with the flick of a switch. There are pop hooks a plenty, all tinged with a nice little punk frosting, and while the press release talks about Hendrix and the Stones I couldn't help but notice similarities with The Clean on some songs. Bolts for the first eight songs before a breather, and while there's not really a duff song on the album, at 14 songs it is a tad too long, and a couple towards the end could have been left off. Not that they're bad songs, it's just they pale in comparison to the others. Apparently there was criticism by some stalwarts when they signed to Flying Nun, but they've done the label proud. Here's hoping they can live up to this high standard with the second album.