Down In the Hole is Texas Pandaa's third album after their 2006 debut One Gleam After the Shadow and demonstrates a band who are wonderfully progressive in their availability and interaction with fans but also refining their music in an increasingly crowded genre. What that genre is depends on one's definition of the slow, poised and melodious tracks that Texas Pandaa produce with such care: shoegaze, post-rock, down tempo, ambient, romance-pop and indie. All could describe the mesmeric harmonies Asako and Mikiko produce backed dreamily by respective guitar and bass as well as Kaz on a supplemental guitar and Nadehiko on drums. Down In the Hole comes off the back of Days, retaining and refining everything that make the group more than just another self-indulgent ambient rock offering and shows a development of exactly what makes them special.
It demands repeated listens, at its best when left as ambient and unintrusiveThe stand out entries come swiftly after the album's title track Down In the Hole which sports a catchy melody and child-like lyrics, evoking stories such as Alice in Wonderland or Wind in the Willows which follow from the delightful art that accompanies the album. Suddenly, the second track, is superbly paced: building from the start with a solemn guitar until the vocals cut in, heavy with nostalgia and a melancholy timbre that characterises the best of the album; the lyrics tell of an absent love and reconciliation but even in impressive English they pale to the atmosphere the track crafts and exhibits the greatest triumph of the album overall.