The team here at sardless have been following the progress of the dude James Pants for a while now, having reviewed Welcome (5.9/10) and Seven Seals (6.0/10), as well as covering his mostly excellent/numerous collection of mixtapes (Psychik Almanack Vol. 1 7.5/10, All The Hits 6.0/10). While the mixtapes are exceedingly carefully curated and tremendously detailed and awesome and good, it is the original stuff that we long to hear from Pants and look forward to the most, but for which so far has been... not quite there / lack-lusture. Thankfully, the self-titled effort James Pants is the one we have been waiting for. It is really good.
Formally titled Love Kraft (indeed, the link at Stones Throw still references Love Kraft), James Pants covers a lot of new territory, never sticking to a specific sound but at once having a characteristic feel. "Beta" starts things off manically, sounding like the Suicide's "Ghost Rider" riff jammed together with the breakdown from perhaps "Polo" by Zodiac (or maybe some Royksopp) + some other cool stuff. "Every Night" then slows things down and sexes things up by almost 85%, with talk of
every night, I dream of you and high school beauty queens etc, bringing to mind Prince's sex jams (NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED). This, along with tracks such as "Little Bit Closer" showcase Pants tending Prince-ward in his style.
Elsewhere, the beautifully titled "Clouds Over The Pacific" sounds the part, with delicately plucked strings leap happily over some meaty bass rounded out with sweet female vocals, before sliding into an almost Fuck Buttons-esque outro, giving the song an eerie / creepy quality. This track, along with "Darlin'" sound reminiscent of the likes of Shocking Pinks (who in-turn sound reminiscent of the likes of The Jesus And Mary Chain, but it'll do as a reference). To add to the mix, there is some fairly sexual sax work on the tracks "Body On Elevator" and "Alone".
"These Girls", "Strange Girl" and "Alone" are the few tracks that sound more like 'classic' Welcome-era pants. The range of styles on show and the use of delicate female vocals on "Clouds Over The Pacific" and "Dreamboat" really give the album a lot more depth than his early work—where Welcome was a bit self-conscious and Seven Seals was an imaginary Book of Revelations inspired mystic cult soundtrack, James Pants stands on its own feet as the album of a dude who is good at this shit and kind of knows it. We knew you could do it, champ!
FUN FACTOID James Pants features the same portrait of Pants seen on the artwork for the Ice Castles: The Coming Of A New Age mixtape.
- Clouds Over The Pacific
- Every Night I Dream
- Clouds Over The Pacific
- A Little Bit Closer
- Strange Girl
- Screams Of Passion
- Body On Elevator
- These Girls