PANIC BEATS, THE: A Date with Death: CD

When I first heard the name of this band my eyes lit up. “Panic Beats? Like the Paul Naschy movie?” Yep. In case you don’t know, Paul Naschy was a Spanish horror movie icon. Then I saw the cover art by the great Bill Hauser depicting a hooded man standing on a woman’s doorstep handing her a bouquet of severed body parts. I looked at the track list. The word “kill” appears five times in twelve songs. I’m a horror nerd. I eat this shit up. Needless to say, my expectations were high before I even pushed play. And then… oh shit. This is a concept album that tells the story of a psychotic, knife-wielding stalker through a dozen tracks of melodic punk. There are some cool guitar parts. At first, I was turned off by the vocals. They are off key and, well, just off. But then on further listenings, it actually added to the creepiness of the experience. These painfully fucked up vocals trying to sing all heartfelt about slashing people up. It’s just wrong but it’s just so right.

 –mp (Midnight Jamboree,