Release Date: 25 December 2015
NO PANTZ have a simple credo: to have an “insanely good time attempting to play instruments”, and to live out a “common childhood dream to be punk rockers”. A mission statement like that could easily have veered into the realm of self-indulgence, but thankfully, NO PANTZ deliver on their promise.
Listening to their new release, NO PANTZ’s debut EP is a credible homage to the riot grrrl aesthetic, with buzzing power chords and sinewy bass-lines sharing airtime with all-girl gang choruses. While concepts like playing in time, and singing in key, are applied quite loosely here, you’d be missing the point if you attempted to judge NO PANTZ by those standards. Instead, the songs bristle and snarl with attitude, and have enough punk rock swagger to set up shop at Far East Plaza.
With songs titles like 'Karate OK!' and 'HDB Love Song', NO PANTZ also clearly have their tongues firmly in cheek, and their heads deeply entrenched in the heartland, delivering irreverence and spunk in equal measure.
Amongst the 3 songs in their EP, the aforementioned 'HDB Love Song' in particular stands out from the pack, with a sideways nod to dance punk and The Rapture – not a surprise given that 2 out of 4 of NO PANTZ’ members are also DJs (Amanda Keisha Ang on vocals/rhythm guitar, and Natalie Pixiedub on guitars). The track even features a credible cameo from X’Ho as a lascivious expat with yellow fever.
Meanwhile, another mainstay of the local scene in Patrick Chng pops up behind the boards, lending the production a stripped down and raw feel, and recalls to mind early 90’s ‘zines and sweaty gigs at the Substation.
That said, worshipping at the altar of Bikini Kill and the three-chord rock song can only take you so far, with the quintet doing little to move beyond the tropes of their genre. Further, while their appropriation of punk rock’s musical trappings are reliable, their connection to the genre’s brand of politics is far more tenuous.
Clearly, there are still areas for NO PANTZ to work on, and given that they are a relatively new band to the scene, there is time yet for the band to deliver a more impressive picture of what they’re really capable of. In the meantime, at just 3 songs and a playtime of just under 7 minutes, this EP delivers enough conviction for you to take off your pants and get the party started. After all, as the girls proudly proclaim, “we all just wanna have a little fun”, and that ain’t a bad thing at all.
You can follow NO PANTZ on Bandwagon and Facebook, and stream their EP from Bandcamp.