Pandoras, The - Hey! It's the Pandoras – New LP
This is a Burger Records release, and if you don't want to own a Burger Records release, that is completely understandable, but we felt that the Pandoras deserve to have their records shared. Please speak up if you feel that Green Noise is wrong with this decision.
Limited pressing of 750 LPs on black vinyl
AllMusic Review by Mark Deming
Since Paula Pierce was the founder and uncontested leader of the Pandoras, and she died in 1991, the notion of a brand-new Pandoras EP appearing in 2018 seems like a very odd concept. However, former members Kim Shattuck and Melanie Vammen have been playing out under the Pandoras banner since 2015, and their seven-song release Hey! It's the Pandoras feels half like a new band and half like a sincere and heartfelt tribute to Pierce's legacy. While Pierce obviously wasn't around to play or sing on these sessions, five of these tunes were written by her, and the other two are covers that would doubtless meet her approval (We the People's "You Burn Me Up and Down" and Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders' "It's Getting Harder All the Time"), so this music does have her stamp. The music harks back to the Pandoras' days as one of L.A.'s leading garage punk outfits, rather than their later hard rock period, but that certainly fits Shattuck and Vammen's wheelhouse better, and ultimately reflects the music Pierce made that's aged the best. In many respects, Hey! It's the Pandoras sounds like a more garage-centric version of the Muffs, which makes sense, since Shattuck and Vammen founded that group after leaving the Pandoras (and Shattuck sings lead for both), but the commonality is hardly a flaw, given the similar temperaments of the two groups. And while "Stop Pretending" and "It Felt Alright" appeared on the second Pandoras album, "Just a Picture," "See If You Can," and "Dark November" are Paula Pierce rarities that deserve to be heard, and Shattuck and Vammen (along with bassist Karen Basset and drummer Hillary Burton) play them with authority and passion. It's hard to say where this edition of the Pandoras can go as a recording act from here, but Hey! It's the Pandoras does right by the band's legacy, and it's a whole lot of fun, too.