Here is a song you need to know, especially if the “you” in question just lost all their Parquet Courts and Sonic Youth records in a tragic mishap. San Francisco’s Pardoner have all the Nineties (and neo-Nineties) guitar moves down, pilling up easy noise and weird hooks in their frantically distracted little songs. What they do best is deliver sweet, squalid post-Pavement-Polvo guitar tangle with a heaviness that recalls Silkworm or Dinosaur Jr. Getting lost in the two records they’ve released so far — 2017’s Uncontrollable Salvation and 2019’s Playin’ in a Cloud — is a fine way to waste an afternoon, festooned as they are with such fine moments as “Carousel of Punishment” and “Blue Hell.”
Pardoner’s third album Came Down Different will be out in May and “Donna Said,” the first song they’ve released from the album, sums up everything this band does right, starting out as a yucky mass of white noise backwash before building towards lazy-boned bliss — coiled but casual, going from cute, springy slacker-pop to amiably punishing distortion and back again, with lyrics about selling your guitar because you need quick cash, and heading to the bar thinking about what Donna said (spoiler: “Donna said/It’s in your head”). In any case, if you like good new bands that are going to remind you of great old bands, then this is the good new band for you.