• Panic Beats – Rest In Pieces

    Panic Beats – Rest In Pieces
    Released by: P. Trash Records
    Released on: March, 2013.
    Get It On Vinyl Or Digital

    Check out that cover art by none other than Rick Melton. It more or less tells you what you’re in for. That guy in the hoodie has graced the covers of all of The Panic Beats releases so far. He’s always up to no good and this time he’s sitting there grinning ghoulishly into the hollow eyes of a beautiful woman’s severed head. And if that weren’t enough, inside the record sleeve is a bad ass poster showing us what that hooded nogoodnik was up to with that lovely lady shortly before he sat down with her head! If your mom is anything like my mom, she'll probably hate it.

    If horror punk is dead, a passing phase, somebody forgot to tell Dale Van Thomme. The lyrics sheet inside the sleeve confirms this. Dale, as The Panic Beats, has been churning out some ridiculously good albums from his home base in Michigan for a few years straight now and this new release continues that tradition of marrying Ramones style three chord punk with Misfits inspired darkness and horror movie trappings. When the first album came out you could make a pretty close association with The Lillingtons, and that comparison is still an apt one, but this recent slab of twelve tracks sees the songs getting a little bit longer and the playing get a bit more complex.

    The production is solid here. Fuzzy and thick enough to get the right kind of mood but without ever burying the guitar playing or the vocals. The bass playing plunks away in steady, rhythmic bops and throbs while the drums hit fast and a little bit sloppy, adding an element of barely controlled chaos. This is a fast, buzzsaw guitar style attack throughout, fast and quick and noisy. Interestingly enough, with many of the songs being about murder and from the point of view of the murderer, we get some female vocals on I Don’t Wanna Die, a track that flips things around and tells the story from the victim’s standpoint. The song is sung in the same style as those on which Van Thomme handles the vocals, making it an interesting counterpoint thematically to much of what we hear while at the same time ensuring that it fits in with the rest of the album.

    The complete twelve song track listing for this release is:

    Get Ready For A Bloodbath / Chop Chop / Matchmaker / Silent Night, Deadly Night / Kill Or Be Killed / I Drink Your Blood / On My Way / God Forgives, I Don't / I Don't Wanna Die / Night Like This / A Hatchet For The Honeymoon / Rest In Pieces

    A quick glance shows that the horror movie influences that have been prevalent on the last albums are still here. They’re pretty self-explanatory but it’s hard not to get a horror movie/punk rock nerd boner during Silent Night, Deadly Night and A Hatchet For The Honeymoon. Has anyone else ever written a punk rock tribute to a Mario Bava movie? On A Night Like This also stands out, it’s got solid a solid melody and some fun call and response vocals to make it stand out a bit. Of course, there are simple and repetitive songs on here as well, Get Ready For A Bloodbath being the most obvious example, there’s not much to this one lyrically but a brief spoken word bit at the end is interesting.

    Probably the most interesting (or at least surprising) song of the lot is the title track and album closer, Rest In Pieces. It’s atypical for a few reasons, the first being that it’s four and a half minutes long. The might be a short song for, say, Iron Maiden but by horror punk standards it’s pretty epic. The second reason is that it sounds much different than anything else on the record. It’s a slow, pensive ballad of sorts with weary, strained and almost sad sounding vocals over top of an acoustic guitar that ties in to the cover art and overall concept of the recording rather well. You expect it to break from the slow part into a barrage of noise but it never does, it stays mellow and calm and quiet and actually ends the album on an effectively somber note.

    Ultimately the album is a pretty interesting maturity that at the same time is completely and honestly true to the roots of The Panic Beats material that came before it. This is still very much a horror punk album rooted in the traditional sound associated with the sub-genre that at the same time allows for some experimentation here and there. Not a bad thing at all, in fact, it makes for a great follow up to the older records and points at interesting things hopefully still to come.

    We’ve previously covered The Panic Beats’ earlier releases, their self-titled debut and their follow ups, Strike Again and Without Warning – check’em out, they’re also great. Collect’em all and trade’em with your friends!

    Check out The Panic Beats on Facebook and on Band Camp!
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Nolando's Avatar
      Nolando -
      P Trash records is pretty ruler these days, too.