Published Sep 18, 2019On their first album in 15 years, Fly Pan Am return wiser and more established by coming off wilder and less structured. Once known as an offshoot of Godspeed You! Black Emperor (due to guitarist Roger Tellier-Craig's stint with the band in the early '00s), the quartet run the genre gamut on their fourth LP, C'est ça, mixing and moulding together an amazing blend of influences to craft something sonically otherworldly.
Reforming in 2017 to play a single show in their hometown of Montreal, the quartet communally mashed together a decade of musical education indiscreetly, as the LP finds the band weaving squiggly electronic freak-outs ("Avant-gardez vous," "Alienage Syntropy"), shoegaze-y walls of sound ("Distance Dealer," "Discreet Channeling"), black metal vocals ("Bleeding Decay," "One Hit Wonder"), and all of the above ("Each Ether") into a satisfying whole.
Over nine tracks and 40 minutes, the quartet wonderfully mess with sonics, timing, rhythm and their own legacy. But what makes C'est ça such a triumphant return for the band lies in just how damn listenable Fly Pan Am make it all come off, giving fans something much more adventurous and challenging than simple nostalgia would ever allow. (Constellation)