Post-rock instrumental band, Pan, have the musical talents, but lack the execution. While being an instrumental band is cool and hip, the music has to be extraordinarily catchy and evoke emotion to be successful. This album doesn’t do any of that. Each song sounds as if it could be great with vocals, but while they stand alone, they don’t have much of an impact. When you listen to a great pop punk band, the music behind the lyrics is normally very catchy. These Are The Things… sounds like a pop punk/rock album that forgot to record the vocals.
The first five songs, “Byoko,” “The Rhode Island Lucky Few,” “God,” “Joe Frazier,” and “Slow Steady,” are decent. Unlike other instrumental groups, there isn’t any type of build up. Without the steady ascension of emotion, the songs fall flat. Each one sounds like a normal track, with no attempt to make a statement. The only one that stands a chance is “John From New York.” Rare vocals are included, but they’re still not enough to induce any sort of excitement. That is, until the “The Things They Can’t Take Away.” It’s slightly more dynamic due to the ambient synthesizer and guitar effects, but the rest of the album continues to sound like something is missing.
It’s obvious that the band attempted to create some sort of tension in the last song, “Arkansas,” but sadly fell short once again. In a nutshell, the album feels mediocre at best. The intentions behind instrumental music are beautiful, but it takes a lot of attention to detail and strong musicianship to make it really work. Time and nurturing is necessary for music like this, and Pan just didn’t accomplish that.
In A Word: Decent