About time for some Swedish psych rock in my B100 favourite songs rundown, so here’s “Panda” by Dungen.
In common with another animal titled choice (“The Rat” at #13), I first encountered Dungen by watching MTV2 back in those golden days when MTV actually showed a decent selection of music videos, in this case 2005. “Panda” immediately grabbed me from the off, as its rolling drum intro gives way to a fantastic brief riff and then some mysteriously melodic Swedish vocals take over for the first verse. But it’s when the initial chorus hits that “Panda” starts to really soar – the return of that riff and some Sabbathesque chugging powers the tune along as it rises in intensity, a joyously euphoric beast of a song.
“Panda” is taken from Dungen’s third 2004 album “Ta Det Lugnt”, which was the first of their records to get a wide release outside of their native Sweden. In 2005, “Ta Det Lugnt” was licensed to Memphis Industries in the UK and Kemado Records in the US, where its low key success saw them appear on Late Night With Conan O’Brien. Although nothing matches the impact of opening track “Panda”, “Ta Det Lugnt” is an excellent psych album, mixing heavier rockers such as “Panda” with more pastoral fare such as “Festival”, reminiscent of the great Super Furry Animals.
Dungen have continued to record and tour ever since and I’ve seen them a couple of times at ATP festivals, always a pretty exciting live outfit, and their 2008 album “4” is also an enjoyable listen. But it’s the furiously stomping “Panda” that I predominately return to time and again, a truly superb psych-rock tune.
VIDEOS AND OTHER STUFF
- Other great Dungen songs include Festival, Ta Det Lugnt, Bortglomd, Maleras Finest, Fredag.
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