Pacanomad, is a London – Ontario based soul and r&b band, which is spiced with a slight indie aesthetics and seasoned with Zeppelin-era rock/blues guitar stylings. If you are an unclothe millennial such as myself, it is likely you have been straying clear of ‘soul’ music, possibly because the last ‘soul’ artist you heard was Ne-Yo, which simply was not good for your blood pressure. Thankfully, Pacanomad and their semi recent EP, Restless, draw associate themselves with a far more credible source. To transcribe their overall sound into a sentence, this an act that revive the subtle sentiments of a time period defined by sharp looking hats, strong drinks and with a proportionate contrast of unbridled attitude.
This five track gem, kicks off with ‘Heaven Can Wait’, a cheeky love song, defined by snazzy baselines and femme fatale vocals. Any modern escapists with half an imagination be able to smell a smoke filled bar lounge and neat whiskey by the end of this track. This is the very cool thing about Restless, it has very authentic sound that sound; If a complete stranger told me Pacanomad opened for Janis Joplin, I would deem it believable. To get it out of the way, the skeleton that holds this album together is the emotional and talented vocal delivery of Chantel Revard. The tracks ‘Tell Me Not To Doubt’, ‘I Lost You’, ‘Till It’s Mine’ and ‘Restless’ she does a remarkable job teetering the line between projecting longing and lust. However, the band’s bohemian seduction stylings due owe much credit to the rest of the band. The bassist Dave Bell, manages to play some intimately comforting blues lick, particularly on ‘Tell Me Not To Doubt’ and ‘Till It’s Mine’. It is resonates especially well with the downright suave and flirty guitar bits of Nick Cifaldi, particularly on ‘Restless’. To complete the metaphor, it seems reasonable to say that Zack Stewart, the drummer, is best described as gentle, but full of stamina.
While this EP is full of potential and has excellent production, it is not without room for improvement. During the first few play troughs it is painfully clear that there is a lack of a certain hook. No song was immediately captivating, nor was any set of lyrics particularly thematically different that those that came before it. Frankly speaking, I think all of the songs are good (Till It’s Mine, Restless being my personal favorites), but that is a conclusion I arrived at after 15+ listens. Any ad hominem accusations regarding this conclusion likely hold some truth, due to my comparable inexperience with the genre. However, that was my experience.
That aside, I think Pacanomad likely has great stage presence and I would see them live. Thankfully, the London, Ontario rockers don’t live far from me and I will be keeping an open eye for their future releases. In the meantime you can download Restless from their Bandcamp for 5 measly dollars, which as a genre outsider, I would say is very well worth it.
Author: Alex Slakva