• The Panic Beats - Without Warning / Strike Again



    The Panic Beats – Without Warning

    The Panic Beats – Strike Again
    Released by:
    P-Trash Records / Night Fighter Records
    Released on: July 2012

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    Michigan’s finest one man horror infused pop punk act The Panic Beats, which (in the studio at least) is made up of one man - Dale VanThomme – is back, following up their full length debut with two new full length studio albums, Without Warning and Strike Again.


    While VanThomme hasn’t reinvented his sound for either one of these albums, those who heard the first record probably won’t complain. The music is fast, the guitars are up front and loud, and the riffs are catchy as Hell. The influences that made the first album so much fun – The Ramones, The Lillingtons, The Queers, Teenage Bottlerocket and their ilk – are the same influences you’re going to hear again this time around as well, and that’s something we can all be thankful for. Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee and Tommy proved you don’t need more than three chords to make a great album, and there are those, such as The Panic Beats, who learned from the best in that regard.



    Let’s start with Without Warning. If art style you see on that cover painting looks familiar, it’s for good reason – it was done by Rick Melton who is known to a lot of horror fans as the guy who does a lot of the cover art for Arrow Video’s DVD and Blu-ray releases. It’s a nice piece, but not as nice as the one that is on the flip side of the insert inside the sleeve that leaves a lot less of that nubile lass to the imagination. Too bad her days are obviously numbered – the giallo influences don’t stop at the cover art though. Tracks like New York Ripper and Watch Me When I Kill not only pay tribute to the likes of Lucio Fulci and Antonio Bido but they shred too. Giallo and slasher influences are also evident in the lyrics to tracks like I Gotta Kill, Killing Spree and The Mutilator, the later opening with ‘by sword, by pick, by axe, bye bye’ – essentially a musical version of the tag line from Buddy Cooper’s 1985 hack and slash picture.


    The track listing for Without Warning is:

    Side One: They Call Me Death / Killing Spree / Bash His Brains / Ready To Explode / Watch Me When I Kill / You’re Gonna Bleed / Junkyard Dog

    Side Two: Dead Meat / New York Ripper / Too Tight / I Gotta Kill / The Mutilator / Go Away / Zombie Hell


    The second album under discussion here, Strike Again, is not surprisingly more of the same – but again, fans of the darker side of pop punk won’t mind. We don’t get any ‘Sick Rock’ cover this time, instead a very cool eighties slasher inspired piece where the hooded Panic Beats mascot is watching a curvy cutie talk on the phone from outside her window – we’ve seen enough horror movies around these here parts to know what happens next! Lyrically VanThomme stays in familiar territory, with tracks like Black Gloved Killer paying homage to Giallos aplenty and the track Rats (in which he sings ‘Rats! It’s gonna be a night of terror!’) showing some obvious affection for none other than the late, great Bruno Mattei (how many other bands do that?). They Call Him Django takes things out of horror movie territory but really only for that one, single track – and it’s a stand out number – before heading back into the shadows with songs like Phantasm (‘Don’t look back, there’s a silver ball coming!’), Stranger In The Dark and last but not least, Night Of The Bloody Apes (‘Don’t put an ape heart in a human!’).


    The track listing for Strike Again is:

    Side One: Red Alert / Rats / They Call Him Django / Black Gloved Killer / Coming To Get You

    Side Two: Death List / Dirt Nap / Phantasm / Beat You Up / Stranger In The Dark / Night Of The Bloody Apes


    At the time of this writing, these two Panic Beats albums are available as either a full on vinyl release with a lyrics insert or in MP3 format.


    While The Panic Beats are hardly the first band to mix horror movies and punk rock (The Cramps and The Misfits did it decades ago), they do what they do very well and both of these new albums, released at the same time after a rather prolific period in the studio, are well worth adding to your collection. Check out a few tracks below....!