• Panic Beats, The - S/T

    The Panic Beats – S/T

    Released by: Night Fighter Records

    Released on: 7/16/2011

    Download From Bandcamp.com

    Purchase On Vinyl From Interpunk

    Michigan’s not got a whole lot going for it these days, in an era of economic recession and a problematic auto industry, but hey, there’s Dale VanThomme, also of The McFlys, and that counts for something. Basically takes on the roll of one man band for this debut LP release from The Panic Beats. Credited with handling the vocals as well as playing guitar, bass and drums, the self titled debut on Nightfighter Records, which was released July of this year, is a pretty bad ass slice of an even dozen pop punk tracks in the style of Teenage Bottlerocket/The Lillingtons with, of course, a very heavy Ramones influence present throughout. Lyrically, though, The Panic Beats take a much darker course, preferring to sing about the nastier side of life than to wax nostalgically about love lost and the girl that got away. Girls don’t get away here, instead they’re bound and gagged in the back of a car – or so says the second track. Like I said, they take a darker course.

    Other subjects covered on VanThomme’s opus are radioactive mutations, alien invasions (there’s that Lillingtons influence mentioned earlier), running from the law with blood on your hands, female hitchhikers and creepy voyeurism. It’s all played about as fast as fast can be and plenty tight. As dark as it is lyrically, however, there’s a sense of humor to it that makes it plenty listenable and just try to stop your foot from tapping once you’ve given it a few spins and you start to get familiar with it. Is this stuff fancy? Nope, not in the least and the production values are decidedly low-fi, but VanThomme’s come up with some seriously catchy stuff to pump your fist and sing along to.

    The track listing for this self titled release is:

    Side One: Die Tonight / Bound And Gagged / One Bullet / Get Away / Invasion / Nightmare City

    Side Two: Love Kills / Smash You / You’re Gonna Mutate / On The Run / A Girl Like You / Perfect Together

    At the time of this writing, The Panic Beats self titled debut is available as either a full on vinyl release with a lyrics insert (which comes with a code for a digital download, which is always handy) or in MP3 format.

    Like the influences that The Panic Beats wears proudly on its sleeve, the songs are fast, the longest one on the record being Perfect Together clocking in at 2:35, but there’s something to be said for brevity and not overstaying your welcome. These tracks get in and get off like a sixteen year old high school student, wasting no time and slapping you upside the head with some ‘singalongable‘ horror movie themed lyrics (just check out the cover art for more evidence of that) and basically insisting the album get spun back to back a few times in a row. If VanThomme’s stuff isn’t reinventing the wheel, who cares. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.