Panama Kings

[Young Blood sleeve]"Young Blood" (Single, 2008)

WR Collect Records

Debut single from Belfast-based four-piece act that began as light relief from the individual members' main bands, that then became their main band.

The accompanying press release talks (straight facedly) of creating an 'indie-rock-dance-party' (hmm...) and quotes Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody describing their sound as "swooning jaggedness" - whatever that sounds like. So you can imagine my sense of unbridled anticipation... not. Stuart Bell's and Luke Carson's iconic sleeve artwork though is altogether more tantalising. The important stuff, the music, resides somewhere in the middle of those emotional reactions.

Which makes this resolutely middling fare. It would definitely better to love something, or, occasionally, better to hate it, rather than be indifferent. To be fair this does manage more than average. If I admit that the deliberately 80's pop synth/guitar mix by Hello Translinks? of the title track winds up being my favourite, do you think I'm resigning myself to never being able to shake my youth, or should I simply be accepting that Top Of The Pops really was at its finest in the early 1980s? 6/10

Rob Dyer (August, 2008)