Hot Panda
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Hot Panda

Vancouver, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | INDIE | AFM

Vancouver, Canada | INDIE | AFM
Established on Jan, 2009
Band Alternative Rock




"Le Hall 3, phare de nos nuits Transmusicales! (Beacon of our nights at Transmusicales!)"

Hot Panda arrive sur scène, le batteur affublé d'un masque de cheval, et le chanteur attisant la foule en annonçant un « rock'n'roll show ». Le décor est planté, mais on ne s'attend pas encore à pareille réussite. Eux non plus, apparemment, tous démonstrativement heureux de se retrouver devant un public aussi nombreux et fiévreux. La transformation sur scène de leur pop bricolée en power pop envenimée est manifestement la preuve que ce groupe a de l'intelligence et surtout un énorme potentiel. - MilleFeuille Webzine (FR)

"Q Magazine - Hot Panda "Go Outside""

The Extensive North American tours (10 at the last count) that Vancouver based Hot Panda have embarked on in between recording has clearly helped to hone their sound. Once Making a virtue of their lack of virtuosity, on this third album in three years the four piece are now an accomplished if spiky group at home whether playing rough-edged guitars or glockenspiels. They're not afraid to chime in with a cello to express anger on the barely restrained Future Markets where others might attack with apocalyptic noise, a road eventually traveled on furious closing blast Negative Thinking Patterns. In Chris Connelly they also have a lyricist willing to tackle global politics (the aforementioned Future Markets, political extremism on One In The Head, One In The Chest) and personal relationships and depression. Their steady rise continues. **** - Q Magazine

"AllMusic - Go Outside Review (4/5)"

On their earliest recordings, Hot Panda built a signature sound out of their technical ineptitude, but now that they know what they're doing with their instruments, they've let humor and a sense of adventure take the place of their former lack of ability. Hot Panda's fourth album, 2012's Go Outside, opens with the noisy and chaotic "One in the Head, One in the Chest," which recalls their early days as scrappy aural pranksters, but the clouds of sound float by with assurance and the rhythms are steady and forceful -- this is noise pop from folks who know what they're doing, and on much of the album Hot Panda seem to be having a grand time seeing how far they can stretch themselves from this opening salvo. The playful "Maybe Now?" sounds like it could be a radio hit (well, maybe if it were a bit less cryptic) with its chiming guitars and upbeat percussion, the title song suggests some sort of goof on Dirty Projectors' off-kilter layers of sound (only with a bit of added smirk), "Littered Coins" sounds almost lush with its strings and Europop synth punctuations, and the cool pulse of "Future Markets" suggests an experiment to make an EDM record without drum machines or sequencers. Go Outside is less messy than one might have expected from Hot Panda, but that hardly means they've gone slick; now they have the chops to make the most of the pop instincts they've always had, and when they bend them to the nervous new-new wave clatter of "Negative Thinking Patterns," the mutated power ballad-guitar showcase of "Boats," or the nerd-funk grooves of "See You All Around," it sounds as if Hot Panda are having as much fun writing and playing this music as folks will have listening to it -- and that's a significant good time. - Allmusic

"Vice review - Hot Panda, 'Go Outside'"

It pains me to say anything nice about these Canadian art-punks, but they’ve really done it this time. And, all I can do is slow-clap and tell them, “That’s a lovely penis on the cover of your album.” I honestly didn’t like their first albums at all, but this one takes the wereallywishweweresonicyouth in a better, more independent direction. My advice? Don’t put the album on for a date. Some of the songs are almost soft and sweet, and you’ll get all in the mood and stuff, then they’ll freak out with some noisy distorted guitars and keys and you’ll spill that chocolate body butter all over your sheets. And, you just bought those sheets. - Vice (US)

"CMW 2015: Hot Panda at The Rivoli"

Hot Panda shows have always been bracing, and this CMW performance was no exception. They’ve shrunk from a quartet to a trio (and changed drummers) since their last album—in fact, only one original band member remains—but it hasn’t curbed their enthusiasm in the least.

There was little need to see what the night’s other bands had to offer, after witnessing Hot Panda’s blistering rendition of Mclusky’s “To Hell With Good Intentions”—there’s no chance another festival act could top it. Impressive as well, was bassist Catherine Hiltz’s stint on bass and trumpet at the same time. Most other bands look lazy by comparison.

There appears to be a new Hot Panda album on the way, this year; we’ll see if this reinvigoration translates to disc. “Linda Ronstadt,” performed live up above (and at The Rivoli), may be on it.

-Scott Bryson - Telescope Media

"Catlow w/ Hot Panda @ Biltmore 06/13/15"

It wasn't long before "Also Sprach Zarathustra" (better known as the theme from 2001) filled the room as Hot Panda lead singer Chris Connelly walked around the dancefloor, getting people pumped and urging the people sitting on the side to come closer, before jumping on stage as the other two members came out, Catherine Hiltz on bass and Aaron Klassen on drums.

Right away they launched into some high energy alt-pop/dance-punk songs and didn't let up until the end of the set. They also gave me a slightly tongue-in-cheek vibe; not that they weren't being sincere, but between their energy and joking around a little between songs, I got the sense that they were having the most fun in the room, and that would be the case no matter the venue size.

Some highlights from the set included "Masculinity", which saw bassist Catherine pull out a trumpet and play both instruments at the same time (only for Connelly to joke that while that was impressive, he was also singing and playing guitar at the same time!) and a song from their last album, Go Outside, called "See You All Around" that started with a really neat back-and-forth riff-off between Chris' guitar and Catherine's bass to start off, and ended with a nice drum solo from Aaron.
They managed to up the energy one more time as they came to a close with a bit of a schizophrenic song, "Negative Thinking Patterns" -- that I swear snuck in a little Green Day into the bassline -- the song bursting into an all-out rocker to end with a bang.

It was a really fun set, and if my sources are correct, they have a new album done and ready to go (but no word on a release date yet). If this show was any indication of that album, I can't wait to hear it. - 3AM Revelations

"SPIN review - Hot Panda, 'Go Outside'"

Vancouver weirdos turn Destroyer's blues into noisy brilliance with big fuzz, fucked beats, body over brains. - Spin Magazine (US)

"SPIN review - Hot Panda, 'Go Outside'"

Vancouver weirdos turn Destroyer's blues into noisy brilliance with big fuzz, fucked beats, body over brains. - Spin Magazine (US)

"L'Express - Trans Musicales 2012: 10 noms à retenir impérativement (10 essential names to remember)"

Le trio de Vancouver a dans sa besace des pépites indie rock qui rappellent par certains moments les Pixies, mais ce n'est pas forcément pour leur répertoire que l'on se souviendra d'eux. En fin de concert, le chanteur raconte à la foule (en français) son séjour à Bourges quand il était plus jeune. "C'est là bas que j'ai découvert la guitare. J'ai appris un morceau que je n'ai jamais joué depuis. On va l'interpréter ce soir". Et d'enchaîner pied au plancher Breed et Lithium de Nirvana, 21 ans après le passage aux Trans de Kurt Cobain. Souvenirs, souvenirs... - L'Express (FR)

"Les Inrocks - Cinq groupes à suivre (Five groups to follow)"

On était passés à côté des deux précédents albums des Canadiens de Vancouver : honte à nous. Une chose est sûre, on n’est pas passé à côté de Go Outside, sorti cet été. La progressive Future Markets, la viscérale One In The Head, One In The Chest ainsi que les titres plus anciens (la géniale et furieuse Mindlessnesslessness, notamment) sont des sortes de perfections de chansons, en équilibre acrobate mais jamais précaire entre coups de fouets électriques (Jack White a du couver ces guitares anguleuses et ces voix volcaniques) et cabaret des curiosités pop, entre souffle tempétueux et odeurs suaves de pâte à modeler psychotrope. C’est joueur et ça tape, ça ne fait aucun mal mais beaucoup de bien.
Le 8 décembre, Hall 3 - Les Inrocks (FR)

"NME- "The Best of Transmusicales 2012""

Anyone that has the audacity to cover not one, but two Nirvana songs IN A ROW ('Breed' and 'Territorial Pissings' in case you were wondering) and pull it off has got to be doing something good. Hot Panda, despite playing at about 3am on the last day, did exactly this. The Canadian quartet have been going for years now, but never really made much of a mark over here. Channelling scrappy, indie-punk sensibilities a la a less annoying Johnny Foreigner, but headed up by Chris Connelly's androgynously nasal, innately tongue-in-cheek vocal, this is something that deserves to be remedied. - NME (UK)

"Critique de concert Hot Panda, Trans Musicales de Rennes 2012 (5-star review)"

Les qualités explosives de ce panda très chaud sont multiples... Tout d'abord, le propret, jovial et très expressif chanteur possède une voix lui permettant de vociférer comme un damné de la Terre, avant de chanter d'une belle voix douce la seconde suivante. Ne pas oublier son jeu de guitare, qui est schizophrène à souhait ! Ensuite, la très remuante bassiste se comporte comme une véritable furie, mais elle est aussi capable de souffler dans une trompette en jouant parfaitement sa ligne de basse ! Enfin, last but not least, le batteur est allé visiblement à la même école que celle fréquentée par le survolté Dave Grohl de Nirvana, c'est dire. Et pour couronner le tout ces gens savent écrire de très bons et très surprenants morceaux ! - Concert and Co. (FR)

"15 Breakout SXSW Bands To Add To Your Ipod Now"

Hot Panda

File this one under "caustically charming." The Canadian co-ed four piece comes alive on high-energy numbers like the nervy "Mindlessness" which devolves into retro-bass funk after a while, and the hand-clappy "Cold Hands/Chapped Lips," a celebration of prolonged adolescence having to do with much more than jerking off.

Read more: - Esquire Magazine (US)

"Cinq groupes à suivre : spécial Transmusicales"

On était passés à côté des deux précédents albums des Canadiens de Vancouver : honte à nous. Une chose est sûre, on n’est pas passé à côté de Go Outside, sorti cet été. La progressive Future Markets, la viscérale One In The Head, One In The Chest ainsi que les titres plus anciens (la géniale et furieuse Mindlessnesslessness, notamment) sont des sortes de perfections de chansons, en équilibre acrobate mais jamais précaire entre coups de fouets électriques (Jack White a du couver ces guitares anguleuses et ces voix volcaniques) et cabaret des curiosités pop, entre souffle tempétueux et odeurs suaves de pâte à modeler psychotrope. C’est joueur et ça tape, ça ne fait aucun mal mais beaucoup de bien.
Le 8 décembre, Hall 3 - Les Inrocks (FR)

"Go Outside With Hot Panda"

Hot Panda's cool factor is on the rise -- and not just because of the flying penis on the cover of the band's latest album.

The Edmonton art-pop expats, now based in Vancouver, are earning praise for Go Outside, released Tuesday on Canadian indie label Mint Records.

"Vancouver weirdos turn Destroyer's blues into noisy brilliance with big fuzz, f***ed beats, body over brains," writes's Chris Martins. "This is noise pop from folks who know what they're doing," reads a review on "Hot Panda find their stride," writes Discorder magazine's Angela Yen, describing the band's third endeavour as gritty, funky and spastic.

Hot Panda's singer and guitarist Chris Connelly, who brings the spaz with his undulating vocal delivery, simply describes the 11-song effort as their first as professional musicians.

"We feel like a real band, like we're a good band now, whereas before we could be good at times, but there was an inconsistency," he says.

"We worked way harder on this record than any other record. We rearranged songs so many different ways and tried to have fun with them -- like 'Let's slow this one down. Or play it with a waltz beat.' I felt it made us understand the songs better and helped us realize what about them made them really work."

Six years ago, when Hot Panda began, Connelly and drummer Maghan Campbell were still figuring out their instruments -- and keyboardist Heath Parsons and Catherine Hiltz weren't even in the band. (They came on board in 2009, just in time to record the group's second album, How Come I'm Dead?) After countless gigs across North American and Europe -- France, in particular, is in love with the Pandas -- Connelly and his crew are now a lean, mean music machine, ready to take on the world like the naked man leaping into a pool on the cover of Go Outside.

Think of the album cover photo -- taken by Robert Fougere, another Edmontonian in Vancouver -- as an update to the naked baby on Nirvana's 1991 breakthrough, Nevermind. (A few U.S. chains refused to carry the grunge trio's album until stickers were used to cover the baby's penis, while is doing the same with Hot Panda's Go Outside. Connelly says the band is fine with the retail site's decision.)

"We were looking at Robert's photos and this one jumped out at us," he says.

"You look at it, then look away and think: 'Can you see his penis?' and then look again. 'You totally can!'

"The image also resonates with a lot of what the album is about -- being yourself, putting yourself out there in a positive way. Throwing yourself out there, unapologetically, to the rest of the world."

The rest of the world seems to be embracing Hot Panda's joie de vivre in tunes such as the funktastic "Future Markets," the get-out-of-your-slump title track, and the hidden electro-pop extro, "Negative Thinking Patterns." Connelly and his bandmates are getting the best reviews of their career and their itinerary is filling up for the rest of the year, with upcoming tours in Canada and the U.S.

They're also heading back to Europe this fall, after playing high-profile festivals such as Primavera Sound in Barcelona, Spain, and The Great Escape in Brighton, England earlier this year.

Sadly, a thief broke into the band's van in Cardiff, Wales, smashing a window and stealing a bag of Connelly's guitar pedals. But he says the tour was otherwise filled with memorable shows.

"Even if people don't know who you are in Europe, they're ready to see you because you're Canadian," he says.

"It's amazing the amount of people who told me that if a band is from Canada, Iceland or Sweden, they'll go out to see the show because it's probably going to be good."
- Montreal Gazette, Vancouver Sun, Edmonton Journal, Calgary Herald, Saskatoon Star Phoenix

"More Music From The Inbox"

Artist: Hot Panda

Album: Go Outside Pop filled distortion is the best way I can explain Hot Panda. At first listen there’s a lot of volume and noise but you can also hear a lot of melody and catchiness to their tunes. Sounds Like: They could be friends with Jack White - Alan Cross- A Journal of Musical Things


Hot Panda - 'Go Outside'
by AshMeikle on 15 July 2012 in Albums & EPs
Record Label Mint Records Rating 8/10iTunes download

Most amble slowly into a swimming pool, slowly dipping their genitalia into the icy-depths of its waters whilst grimacing as if they’re being tortured to within an inch of their lives. This isn’t the case for the testicle-baring diver on the cover of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada’s Hot Panda’s new album ‘Go Outside’. Looking like he’s just vaulted the diving board, he’s artfully gliding through the air as his testicles act as more of negative to his aerodynamics than adding style to said manoeuvre. Showmanship aside, for a second, Hot Panda’s new album comes out like a myriad play pool; a low-tempo Django Django with the reins firmly fastened on. The watery vocals of Chris Connelly are strangely hypnotic, no more than in the stunning ‘Future Markets’; written about the demise of the current financial market, Connelly bellows “Now who’s leading who?” This is followed by the lo-fi ‘Littered Coins’ and the elegant swing of the ebullient ‘Holidays’. ‘Winter Song’ playfully skits between melancholy indie whilst interspersed with flagrant pop licks. The Pixies-influenced ‘Go Outside’ and the rather jaunty ‘See You All Around’ do nothing but heighten the quality of this album. It’s not completely balls-out record but it’s a more coherent offering than previous releases by the former Canadian noiseniks. Ultimately, it’s an album that should get more recognition that it probably will. - Shout 4 Music


This song has that sort of restrained, through the teeth aggression that is felt mere moments before the brick goes through the window or the bowl of noodles hits the wall behind your girlfriend's head.

"Hot Panda @ CMW 2011"

This Edmonton quartet have never scored below an 80 on a CHARTattack Rock 'n' Roll Report Card (and usually get over 90 per cent). Their Volcano... Bloody Volcano debut album spawned a spinoff hot sauce, and their latest full-length How Come I'm Dead? marries their bombastic stage personas with a unique brand of eccentric pop.

Grade: 92

It's refreshing to watch a band who dig their own music as much as Hot Panda.

Keyboardist Heath Parsons was either very high, or was in the midst of a transcendent religious experience. Singer/guitarist Chris Connelly was preaching like he was a junior member of White Cowbell Oklahoma. It was a half sexy, half frightening freak-rock spectacle.

Achievement of Rock 'n' Roll Expectations
80-100: Exceeds skill and knowledge expectations, i.e. rocked us so hard we peed our pants.
70-79: Achieves required skills and knowledge. Meets rock 'n' roll standard.
60-69: Demonstrates some skills. Approaches rock 'n' roll standard.
50-59: Demonstrates some required skills and knowledge in a limited way.
00-50: Has not demonstrated required skills or knowledge.

Learning Skills: E=Excellent, G=Good, S=Satisfactory, N=Sad Really

Oral And Visual Communication
Eye Contact: G
Pronunciation: E
Stage Presence: E
Stage Banter: E
Image: E
Appearance: G
Use Of Stage: E

Strengths/Weaknesses/Next Step:
When you're this excited about what you're doing, it's easy to get a crowd excited, too. Hot Panda convinced about half of the stagefront audience to bust a move, and near the end of the set, Parsons donned a horse head mask, jumped into the crowd, and started a mini mosh pit. Amidst the chaos, Connelly took time to playfully mock select associations: "Are there any influential bloggers out there?"

Musical Analysis
Level Of Participation: E
Problem Solving: E
Teamwork: E
Work Habits: E
Organization: E
Audience Participation: E
Sound: E
Composition: E
Songs: E

Strengths/Weaknesses/Next Step:
Hot Panda have mastered in-your-face showmanship without sacrificing musicianship. At one point, bassist Catherine Hiltz — who was performing through a bout of mono — was playing trumpet and bass at the same time. Mind: blown.

The centrepiece of their latest album, "Fuck Shit Up/Hell Hey Hex" was devastating up close and in person.

Other Skills And Areas Of Interest
Charisma: E
Problem Solving: E
Teamwork: E
Sexiness: E
Haircut: G
Indie Rock Footwear: G
Nods To Disposible Fashion: G
Cool Equipment: E
Level Of Inebriation: E
Actual Ability: E

Strengths/Weaknesses/Next Step:
The extravaganza crossed all lines of good taste as it came to a close. Hiltz forced Parsons to give simulated oral pleasure to the headstock of her bass. Parsons followed it up by (capably) playing guitar behind his head for half a song.
- CHARTattack

"How Come I'm Dead review"

By Myles LaCavera

In the great words of Patches O’Hoolihan; “If you can dodge a wrench, you can
dodge a ball!” In the case of Hot Panda’s How Come I’m Dead?, if you can dodge
“Membership Fees (Intro)” you’ll get to stay in the game. The Edmonton natives’
opening track is certainly one that tests your resolve but once you’ve made it
through the hazing you can (un)settle in to an album that is quirky, dodgy, and
pleasantly grating. I’m not sure that this is an album I’ll love to hate or
hate to love just yet but it definitely has me by the ear. It has a bit of Iggy
Pop’s piss, a few tools from Joe’s Garage, and is back handedly filled with
hooks. One listen to track 5’s bizarre synth and slinky bass will have you
humming “The tigers on the freeway are gonna fuck shit up”. I know, brilliant.
I can’t help but be reminded a bit of Razorlight when “Start Making Noise”
rumbles in and Chris Connelly’s audacious vocals piss the band off enough to
revolt with a wicked, screeching crescendo. The only disappointing moment of
this manic-depressive-off-his-meds track is the manic Arcade Fire ending (I’m
talking the bouncy end of “Wake Up”, and yes I know AF pulled that from
somewhere else but not being able to find the source is driving my half crazy).

Not only can you lose your bearings within a track but some sneaky disc-at-once
work will have you carrying on a couple tracks before you realize it. Hot Panda
take the back door into “Clever Fox”, an excellent 6:03 rambling post-punk to
punk manipulation of time that places Mick Jones vocals into the drone of
“Interpol”ation. Capturing all post-industrial madness in one word –
“Mindlessnesslessness”, Panda head off on another tangent. This time through
gramma’s musty basement where a dusty old organ is turned to 80’s art house
freakstomp and a vocal performance you could liken to Liam Lynch’s chorus on
“United States of Whatever”. Maybe from sheer exhaustion the band does find
time to wind down in Spaghetti Western “Shoot Your Horse” and the undulations of
“Late Night Calling (Outro)”, which is thankfully far less demanding than the

No matter where I go I’ll be selling this band short because there are just some
bands that reference just about every friggin’ piece of music, intentional or
not, since man stretched a skin over a piece of tree bark. The plus side for
Hot Panda is that it works for them. I’ve been on a pretty good stretch of
discs lately but How Come I’m Dead? appeals to that little part of you that you
hide from every one else. Entertain that guy every once in a while, it’s
healthy – throw some wrenches his way. - Lithium Magazine

"How Come I'm Dead review"

Fire Note Says: Edmonton's Hot Panda delivers another fun and diverse indie
record experience.

Album Review:
I am not sure if there is a genre for free-flowing indie, but if there was, Hot
Panda's sophomore album How Come I'm Dead? would seem to fit the label. Much of
this "let it happen" vibe is on purpose, as the album was recorded in less than
a week and most of it live off the floor with few takes or overdubs. This
spontaneity transfers well to disc on How Come I'm Dead?, as the record can give
you a dirty blues rocker like "Fuck Shit Up/Hell Hey Hex", while two songs
later, they present a simple little hum along track like "Poor Little
Ambulance". The record keeps you consistently anticipating what comes next but I
can tell you that it might sound a little metal at times or switch in to a
psychedelic mood that lets your mind drift for a couple minutes. This is the
same musical freedom Hot Panda offered on their debut but here, regardless of
style, the songs themselves are stronger and more direct. How Come I'm Dead?
should appeal to a wide range of music aficionados and you can't go wrong with
Hot Panda if you are looking for a group that is a bit more unique and outside
your normal listening patterns!

Key Tracks: "Poor Little Ambulance", "Fuck Shit Up/Hell Hey Hex", "Evil Nature"

Bands With Similar Fire:
Daniel Johnston
The Unicorns
Harlem Shakes - Cloud Speakers

"Hot Panda, How Come I'm Dead?"

The introductory salvo of Hot Panda’s How Come I’m Dead? (Mint Records, 2010) – entitled “Membership Fees” – is pretty telling. The first impression is rumbling drone, joined by single guitar notes and a lurking chorus of strings. At first the guitar seems to be in a moderated, 4/4 cadence, but it’s soon taken out of context by vocalist Chris Connelly, making the notes sound draggy and nearly atonal. This is familiar ground, and we’ve been here before, most notably under the guidance of Kim Gordon. But then something new happens, something that presages the record to come. The drums kick in slightly ahead of the beat, turning what was droning, jangling miasma into…a groove.

Soon, the introduction has been made and we’re off on an adventure, blending wiggly, danceable beats with noisy, goofy instrumentation and what I believe music critics have come to call “knowing pop structure”. Not many bands can pull off being this strange and this catchy at the same time – lately, Dinowalrus is the only thing that comes to mind, while looking farther back I’d point out The Fall and The Deadbeats. But that’s the thing. Many bands these days remind me of The Fall with their discordant, anti-melodic vocals and artfully asymmetrical guitar shred-throughs. Those bands just make me want to listen to The Fall. Hot Panda makes me want to listen to more Hot Panda.

References can be tricky, because they help us paint a picture even though they can sometimes hold us back. The last relevant one in this review is Talking Heads, whom Hot Panda borrows from not so much in their sound as in their sound’s attitude. The feel is one joyful exploration, of wide-eyed looking-out that isn’t afraid to fall down and look the fool. This is something that seems a little scarce lately, although to be honest I’ve been in Alaska all summer and I may have missed a sea-change – in recent weeks, it seems like every new record I hear is bouncy, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (shout-out to Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin’s Let It Sway!). It’s good to see that a band can combine the we-don’t-care-what-we-sound-like swagger of the Brooklyn basements with the we-just-want-you-to-have-a-good-time vibe of a children’s television show.

Standout tracks include “1995”, which makes the reasonable assertion that the year in question ‘looks good / in hindsight’ and its immediate neighbor “Masculinity”, which proclaims ‘I can’t grow a beard / but at least I can act like a man!’ But standout tracks aren’t the issue, it’s the spirit of the record that I’ve come here to praise. Hot Panda claims to play ‘rock and roll that’ll make people dance and feel happy…simple stuff!’ and they do it admirably. They sound like the kind of band you’d like to have in your backyard, tearing it up while you bite into the most delicious pancakes you’ve ever tasted. They sound like the start of a weird, sunny day. Get into it. - Sup Magazine

"How Come I'm Dead review"

Hot Panda
How Come I’m Dead?
By Alex Hudson

The album may be titled How Come I'm Dead?, but Hot Panda aren't lifeless, not
even close. On this, their second album, the Edmonton, AB foursome are restless,
never sticking to any one sound or style for long. The album's 14 tracks range
from gut-busting garage ("Fuck This Shit/Hell Hey Hex") to spaghetti western
("The Ghost") to hyper-caffeinated circus punk ("1995"), all tied together by
yelping vocals and manic keyboards. This eclectic collection was captured by
Vancouver, BC production team JC/DC (the New Pornographers, Destroyer), who
recorded the entire 48-minute album in just a week. The speedy genesis resulted
in an in-your-face sound that can be a little exhausting in large doses, but
this tirelessness is what makes the band so entertaining. If Hot Panda had toned
down the madness, the results wouldn't be nearly as fun. (Mint) - Exclaim!

"Hot Panda- How Come I'm Dead?"

Hot Panda: How Come I’m Dead
Particularly irksome for me is when I come across a band like Hot Panda, an album like their sophomore LP ‘How Come I’m Dead’, sit down to listen to it and realize that such original artists go virtually unrecognized outside of music journalism and / or music elitist circles.
And it’s a goddamn shame that Hot Panda doesn’t enjoy the kind of populist and commercial success that utterly generic Rock-flavoured acts sop up. Hell, I’d be happy if Hot Panda were listened to by the crowds that enjoy their peer-groups like MGMT, Amazing Baby, Quest For Fire, Sound of Animals Fighting and the few other acts out there pushing the boundaries of Rock out even farther beyond the Pale.
Meanwhile, formerly innovative acts like Interpol get stuck into a musical rut that continues to be exuberantly fawned over, while the new contenders, up-and-coming pioneers wait patiently for their turn onstage.
I can’t even begin to properly describe the music of Hot Panda. Folk-Rock-Experimental-Stoner-Pop? Brit-Mathcore-Jazz-Blues-Glam-Rock? Prog-College-Radio-Punk-Country? Retro-Acid-Singer/Songwriter-Coffeehouse-Rock? You can’t pigeonhole this type of music, and nor should you be able to. That said this will either be hit or miss with most listeners, just because of its nature. But if you have an open mind and an open ear I encourage you to give this a listen.
On their second album, ‘How Come I’m Dead’ Hot Panda have crafted something eclectic, hypnotic music lucid-yet-trippy vocals and just downright spooky aural effects added to most tracks create a lighthearted take on freakout music. You can detect elements of latter-day Radiohead, early Mars Volta, The Cramps, David Bowie, Madness, Joy Division and others in the music. It is a hodge-podge of sounds and styles, a patchwork quilt musical Frankenstein.
And it’s bloody brilliant. From the spooky, trippy opener, “Membership Fees” on, you know that you’re in for something out of the ordinary here. “Evil Nature” follows up with some trippy 1960s Hipster sounds, and then the Brit-Poppy sounding “Pools”. My personal favourite on this album is “Fuck Shit Up”, a poetic piece of genius that only highlights the caliber of work here on the album.
As is often the case with an album I truly enjoy, I could easily offer an opinion on each song here. However, instead of trying to summarize the album, I’ll just wholeheartedly encourage all of you out there to go and pick up Hot Panda’s ‘How Come I’m Dead’ for yourselves.
Hot Panda: How Come I’m Dead
Mint Records
Steve’s Rating: 10/10
- CONFRONT Magazine

"Indie Pick Of The Week: Hot Panda"

AUG 16
Indie Pick of the Week: Hot Panda
by Marya McLaughlin in Quick Chats & Interviews, Sonicbids Blog, UncategorizedComments Off
Hot Panda is all about keeping it simple. Hailing from Edmonton in Alberta, Canada, the boys and girls of Hot Panda say they started this band just to make people want to dance and be happy. And for the past few years they’ve been traveling through North America and Europe doing just that, playing with the likes of the Von Bondies, Art Brut, Tokyo Police Club, and more. We had the chance to chat with singer/guitarist Chris Connelly about social media, an amazing European experience, and what’s next for Hot Panda.
When/How did you first start playing music?
I came from an all sports family and didn’t try playing music until I was 15. It was with an electric guitar. I played a bunch of punky kind of stuff at first because you didn’t have to be good to do it.
What’s the best gig you ever played?
The first show we ever played in Europe was amazing. It was in Hamburg with The Von Bondies. We had just landed in Europe, and everyone was deliriously tired and everything was very surreal. Right before we took the stage, the promoter told us that The Beatles and The Clash both played there. The show was great; we were introduced to German beer and ended up eating bread and cheese in this lovely couple’s living room at 4AM. They barely spoke English and I think one of them was an ambulance driver.
How has social media effected the way you market/promote your music?
Personally, I’m very bad at promoting and using the Internet. I can barely use Facebook. But, I honestly don’t know how DIY bands in the 80’s did things without the Internet. They must have really wanted it. But, for better or worse, we do have a Sonicbids, Myspace, Facebook, Twitter and all that stuff.
What’s your prediction for the next big advancement in how we find/listen to/share music?
I think there’s so much music out there and less and less money to spend promoting it and what’s going to become important is only what’s right in front your face. Local scenes, local bands, what’s playing in your city. The Internet gives you everything, but it also makes people cynical. Seeing is believing, that’s how you convince people of things now-a-days.
What’s your next big gig coming up? When/Where?
We’re releasing an album “How Come I’m Dead?” on October 12 so we start touring at the end of September. If you live in Canada or The States maybe we’ll have a memorable gig for you sometime in the fall!
To see their upcoming fall tour dates and hear more from Hot Panda, visit here.
- Sonicbids

"Volcano...Bloody Volcano Review NME"

The volcano: man's natural enemy. Since the dawn of time (2006), polite indie-poppers from Canada have sought to staunch these blackheads of magma by churning out kooky songs idealising the slacker lifestyle, affirming how they'll "move to New York and live out of a van" and "bathe in a fountain at night when there's no-one around". Their credo is You Say Party! We Say Die!'s busy lo-fi. Their voices channel Isaac Brock's bark. Their keyboards are Casio, their best song is so twee it's practically chipcore. Finally, a few moments of inspired sugary texture and, more than a few plodding duds later, the sacrifice of these four virgins is complete. This album is not a rebel album. This album is volcano...Bloody Volcano.

-Gavin Haynes - NME

"Hot Panda premiere snarky punk single “Bad Pop”"

Let’s face it: The music industry is kind of a gross place to call home. Between media licensing, relentless touring, and selling your soul for radio play, you’ve really got to love what you do to wade into this muck. Fortunately, Canadian indie rockers Hot Panda love what they do. The band has already released three full-length albums, and they’ll be releasing their fourth, Bad Pop, on April 22nd. They’ve shared the first single and title track to that album today, and oh boy, does this song have it in for all those corporate shills who run this stinkin’ joint.

The hard-rocking “Bad Pop” has got attitude in spades, though its most notable quality might be the huge guitar sound. It’s raw but undeniably melodic, which is to say you’ll probably hear it on television sooner or later. “In a year, with a little luck, they’ll use this song to sell your sneakers,” jokes the band. They describe “Bad Pop” as “a snarky reflection on the music business” and — as long as we’re all being snarky here — that’s a little obvious, guys, don’t you think?

Listen in to “Bad Pop” below, and then go throw your radio out the window. - Consequence of

"Hot Panda shows its unpredictable side with Bad Pop"

Bad Pop, the fourth full-length from the Edmonton transplants in Hot Panda, effectively mixes bubblegum sweetness with jittery art-rock rhythms and a splash of textured psychedelia. In order to appreciate this mix of sounds, however, you’ll first need to get through the head-scratching opening cut, “Other Spooky Is”. This six-minute fever dream begins with atonal guitar strums and tuneless, hiccupy vocal gasps before culminating in a crescendo of heavy-metal aggression and ghoulish robo chants.

Thankfully, things improve significantly when Hot Panda channels its oddball influences into more conventional songs. “Linda Ronstadt” fleshes out its airy call-and-response choruses with swoops of cello and violin, while the lush choral harmonies of “Golden Arch” provide the palatable counterpoint to lyrics that describe revulsion toward fast food. Best of all is “When I Was Cruel”, the shimmering guitar licks of which are pure British psych pop.

All of these songs are delivered with a sense of unpredictable quirkiness. Ultimately, however, it’s the melodic hooks that leave the greatest impression. If these Pandas really think that they make “bad pop”, they ought to give themselves a little more credit. - Georgia Straight


• "Go Outside" (Mint Records, July 17, 2012)

• "How Come I'm Dead?" (Mint Records, October 12, 2010)

• "Volcano...Bloody Volcano", (Mint Records, February 10, 2009)

• "Cold Hands/Chapped Lips 7" - (Mint Records (June 2008)

• "Whale Headed Girl EP" - Independant (2007)



"Vancouver weirdos turn Destroyer's blues into noisy brilliance with big fuzz, fucked beats, body of brains." - SPIN Mag

Your favourite quirky indie party band is
growing up, and they’re kinda pissed off
about it. So, they’ve turned to every
suburban teenager’s refuge: distortion
pedals and sarcasm.

The targets are wide in Hot Panda’s furious but
refreshingly human upcoming release “Bad Pop”, a
deluge of raw punk rock energy, warm analog
psychedelia, and cheeky nihilistic musings on music
festivals, fast food, and the loneliness of adulthood.

Building on three critically-acclaimed full-length
releases on Mint Records – Go Outside (2012), How
Come I’m Dead (2010), and Volcano, Bloody Volcano
– the upcoming record is a grungy call-to-action
for fuzz and distortion, a return to massive guitar
sounds and smashing drums, and an homage to and
exploration of the album format.

Producer Devon Lougheed (Hey Ocean!, Smashing
) channeled the band’s wild onstage energy
into a focused and heavy-hitting rock sound that, while
nostalgic for times past, remains cutting-edge and

Hot Panda’s live show is two-hundred percent fun and
fury; they’ve driven five tour vans into the ground with
over a dozen tours of North America, several European
runs, festivals (including SXSW, Primavera, CMJ and Reeperbahn), and support slots for acts such as
Japandroids, Andrew WK, Tokyo Police Club and Art
Live, frontman Chris Connelly is alternatively
heartwarming and menacing, like a happy Kurt Cobain
– or a pissed-off Weird Al. Superstar multi-
instrumentalist Catherine Hiltz is a captivating punk-
rock bar-brawling St. Vincent. Drummer Aaron Klassen
was raised on a steady diet of Bonham and Grohl, and
plays like the snare just said something about his

This is an older and possibly wiser Hot Panda. The fuzz
pedals are way fuzzier, the songs are even sharper, and
the tongue is practically bursting through the cheek.
Hot Panda may have grown up, but one thing is for
sure: they’re still having a fuckload of fun.


- Volcano Bloody Volcano debuted at #1 on the
Earshot! Canadian College charts.

How Come I’m Dead won Album Of The Year, 2010
Edmonton Music Awards.

Go Outside was #19 on the yearly CMJ College Radio Charts.

Start Making Sense was an iTunes track of the week.


Pavement, Modest Mouse, The Pixies, Nirvana, METZ,
Mudhoney, The White Stripes, Tame Impala.

Band Members