Advertisement

Album Review: Samuel Locke Ward – Panther Puss


pantherpussSamuel Locke Ward
Panther Puss
samuellockeward.bandcamp.com/

For his second in a year-long series of monthly releases, Samuel Locke Ward has dipped back into more familiar territory. After the top-40-skewering electro-pop on his January release, 7 AM New Year’s Day, Locke Ward leans heavily on his trusty acoustic guitar and Casio keyboard for a 16-song collection of weirdo pop-ditties on Panther Puss.

The album opens with the downtrodden psych-folk of “Here Comes No One.” Locke Ward describes an emotional wasteland where “no one shall be true…and no one cares for you” over a tambourine plod with just enough will to find the downbeat and a guitar that shambles along despite having no affection from anyone or anything. This is followed by the unnervingly psychedelic and equally desperate cut “Ships Won’t Sail.” The second song churns along on choppy strums from Locke Ward’s guitar but the teeth-gritting jitters the track induces come from the noodling guitar solo looped backwards. “Ships” grows more portentous at the end with each staccato repetition of “It feels like this ship might never come in,” the unspooling solo matches Locke Ward’s increasingly unhinged vocal performance.

It’s never all doom and gloom with Locke Ward. No matter how terrible everything looks, there’s always a crooked grin to be found. The album’s lead single, “Swastika Eyes,” is a darkly comic break-up song. Instead of focusing on the shock at discovering that a new girlfriend is a neo-Nazi, “Swastika Eyes” highlights what might be the monotony of a relationship with someone with such a singular and all-consuming obsession: “You’re master race spiel has me yawning every time / And you’re new hate-do has me rolling my eyes.”

The new father also finds room for a surprisingly sweet lullabye. Toward the end of Panther Puss, Locke Ward implores the sleeper to “dream something sweet for me,” and promises “all of the sadness shall wash away.” Only a scary, electronic gong sound at the end undercuts the tenderness.

John Schlotfelt has made a chorizo meatloaf, the world will never be the same.


Thoughts? Tips? A cute picture of a dog? Share them with LV » editor@littlevillagemag.com

Advertisement

Iowa City Book Festival

Oct. 18-24

A celebration of books, writing and ideas

Find Out More

Advertisement

Summer Programs 2020

Get 150+ local restaurants delivered to your door in the Iowa City & Cedar Rapids areas!

The Future is Unwritten

You look to Little Village for today’s stories. Your sustaining support will help us write tomorrow’s.

Regular

$10/mo or $120/year
(AUTO-RENEW)
The cost of doing this work really adds up! Your contribution at this level will cover telephone and internet expenses for one month at the LV editorial offices.

Italic

$20/mo or $240/year
(AUTO-RENEW)
$240 is enough to cover one month’s costs for sending out our weekly entertainment newsletter, The Weekender. Make a contribution at this level to put a little more oomph on your support and your weekend.

Bold

$30/mo or $360/year
(AUTO-RENEW)
LittleVillageMag.com connects eastern Iowa culture with the world. Your contribution at this level will cover the site’s hosting costs for three months. A bold move for our boldest supporters!

All monthly and annual contributors receive:

  • Recognition on our Supporters page (aliases welcome)
  • Exclusive early access when we release new half-price gift cards
  • Access to a secret Facebook group where you can connect with other supporters and discuss the latest news and upcoming events (and maybe swap pet pics?) with the LV staff
  • Invitations to periodic publisher chats (held virtually for now) to meet with Matt and give him a piece of your mind, ask your burning questions and hear more about the future plans for Little Village, Bread & Butter Magazine, Witching Hour Festival and our other endeavors.