Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “You only get one shot to make a first impression.” It’s important to be aware of how we come across to others during a first meeting, as first impressions can have such substantial, significant side effects, such momentous meaning, such influential importance. First impressions stick with you, they govern whether you go on, become a loyal listener, a devoted fan. First feelings come naturally, with no coercion or manipulation.
According to studies, none of which agree, it takes around 30 seconds to make a first impression. It only took Pongo! 20 seconds to make a good first impression on me. The first song I heard of theirs, “Planning,” had me from the get-go. I then listened to “Good Intentions,” which only took 12 seconds to set off my smile.
A rock, punk band out of Elkins, West Virginia, Pongo! is on Mouse Productions Records. Formed in 2018, the band consists of Caleb Gartmann on drums, Derek Nuzum on guitar, bass, vocals, backing vocals, and lyrics, and Matt Fincham on guitar, bass, percussion, piano, vocals, background vocals, and lyrics. They recently released their debut album, “Whoops,” which also features artwork by Nicholas Altman, and was produced by Seth Maynard at Lone Wolf Productions. Their 10-song debut also includes “Loose Promises,” which asks the questions, “When did home become a grave? When did I begin to look like someone you should save?” It also includes the incredibly relatable lyric, “I don’t get what you don’t get.”
Another song on the album, “Tall Orders,” gives us insight with its lyrics: “What is real is what is near to me/What is truth is understood to be/I haven’t always been/I won’t always be.” “Future,” a mid-album feature, has a catchy beat and vocals that give it a play-on-repeat type of sound. “Seattle 2015,” the last track on the record, begins with, “Bad clichés/About love being like ocean waves.” Other songs on the album include “Reason,” “Anyhow,” “Religious Nut,” and “Pick-n-Choose.”
When it comes to Pongo’s! debut album, I had plenty to be impressed by. Pongo! doesn’t just leave a first impression, but a lasting one. To quote their own lyrics from a song on their album, “This ordinary thing’s extraordinary!” You can listen to their debut album here, and follow them on Facebook for more information here.