Alan Singley & Pants Machine
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Alan Singley & Pants Machine

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As if the name weren't enough, the first two songs on this album wear their faults on their sleeve. "I Don't Know Where 2 Start" and "Highways of our Mindz" make a show of sloppy-cum-cute, like a cross between Pavement and the soundtrack to a Peanuts cartoon. On the former, Singley sings just under the notes over short bursts of guitar and elementary drums, not to mention liberal bursts of laser sound effects. "Highways of our Mindz" rolls over itself even harder, a knee-slapping sing-a-long that's unselfconscious if not exactly tuneful, sounding rosy-cheeked and squeezably soft.

Then something unexpected happens. "Yr Little Hand in Mind" is a sudden shift in mood, a fingerpicked acoustic ballad with a swooning Beach Boys choir behind Singley. The mood flips again with the following "Short Sleeve Stumblah", a burst of epileptic lo-fi, and then flattens out with "Bank of the SUN", which is just as unpredictable as the album's opening, but has a strong enough melody to hold it together. And, more lasers.

"Watersong" is another surprisingly gentle turn, a weighty piano ballad without the sap, which segues into the instrumental reprise "Seahorse". It floats into some familiar Flaming Lips territory, but it's an innocuous tribute. After hearing a few more coy, gentle songs like "Holyrollercoaster" or the country-flecked surrealism of "Underneath", inexplicable punctuation and judicious use of "z" in song titles (and the band name) seems less like attention-seeking and more like a personal quirk.

I don't love every track, but I do feel like I've entered a back door into someone's creative process, short as his attention span may be. It's hard to say if the album is greater or worse just for playing bait and switch with the first two tracks. Is pacing really that important? As is, Alan Singley and his band certainly manage to surprise, and hindsight does put those opening tracks in a new, more tolerable light. What started out sounding like nothing I needed to hear became, just maybe, the work of an unsure talent. I'm very curious to hear what he does next, whether he decides to embrace or eschew cohesion in his records. Lovingkindness sits somewhere in between, shuffling its feet.
-Jason Crock, October 19, 2006 - Pitchfork Media


Alan Singley & Pants Machine, Feelin’ Citrus (label tbd)
[PSYCH-LOUNGE] I’ve always wished Burt Bacharach would take acid and write songs about everyday life; now he sorta has. (AM) Singley: “Feelin’ Citrus will be vast and mellow with high-rising cliffs and yummy pancakes—like a warm cabin by a lake.” Out by May, “just in time for warm nights and cool vibes.”

- Willamette Week


Discography

"Feelin' Citrus" (late 2008)
"Lovingkindness" (2006) Slow January
"Audiobicyclette" (2005) Lucky Madison
"Oh, Salad Days" (2003) Not W/O Yr Spacehelmet

Compilations:
PDX POP NOW! Volume 2 & 4
Failing Records Volume 2 & 4
LocalCut Christmas 2007 (Boy Gorilla Records)

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Bio

Alan Singley left Florida for Portland, Oregon in 2003 to escape the humidity and claim what destiny the Rose City had to offer. He teamed with drummer Benjamin Jaspers, bassist Gus Elg, and guitarist Leb Borgerson to take the ever evolving sound further.
Singley then enrolled into college for music with an emphasis on arranging for orchestras, and today the team is working with 10 piece orchestras on records.
2008 will bring the release of "Feelin' Citrus", the heavily orchestrated follow-up to 2006's critically aclaimed, "lovingkindness".

"Alan Singley and his band certainly manage to surprise" - Pitchfork

"Look out Portland, this band could wear the pants in your pop town." - Magnet Magazine

"Singley is one of our town's most precious and offbeat performers."
- Portland Mercury

"The pop songwriter seeks more than anything else to connect with an audience on an intimate level."
- Willamette Week