In the Post #4: The Panics – Cruel Guards

By on Friday, 1st May 2009 at 12:00 pm

The Panics - Cruel Guards (cover)The Panics are an Aussie outfit based in Melbourne, who have been around for a good few years now, “Cruel Guards” is their third full-length release. They have a big following on their own turf but have yet to make a real impact overseas in the likes of the UK and US.

This album begins with an almost theatrical drum roll and then makes it way into some fantastically rich strings on “Get Us Home”, somewhat setting the tone for the album. “Ruins” and “Creak” are a somewhat similar affair with layered guitars, pop melodies and chorus’ laden with twinkly guitar work and sumptuous keys accompanied with the almost soothing vocals of lead vocalist Jae Laffer.

“Don’t Fight It” is probably the stand out track of the album for me, with a definite nod towards the anthemic work of The Verve during the 90s, with a similar blend of piano work, a stripped down rhythm section, nonchalant, yet emotional vocals throughout and even some trumpet work poking it’s brassy beak into this track.

The album continues beyond this track towards more of a similar theme to the album openers, it’s clear the band we’re looking to achieve a very full sound and they’ve achieved that without making the album seem over-produced or too busy in any way.

There is definite feel of this album being very complete all round, all the fat has been trimmed away during the recording process meaning you’re left with a very easy to listen to record. All the tracks seem relevant to one another without seeming as though there’s a lack of creativity or imagination. Though the album is a solid achievement, I’m not sure it has the “breakthrough” quality which the band needs to sell its records overseas but it’s still definitely worth a listen.


The album, Cruel Guards, is out on 1st June.

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One Response

10:24 pm
6th July 2009

A bit unfair with the 7/10 I think – in my view an absolutely fantastic album which deserves a 9 at worst. Enjoyed the read though, cheers.

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