Panic Attack, Deathpop, CD Review
In 2010, Panic Attack released Deathpop, which is a thirteen-track release. The full-length effort was recorded, mixed and mastered by their guitar player Scott Dippel. It was produced by Panic Attack. The cover logo design was done by Scott Coan, a family member of the bassist. Apparently, it runs in the family, as the art layout and design was done by bassist Greg Coan. The album was performed by members Lisa Huffman, Scott Dippel, Greg Coan and Scott Nickell. Since the release, they have parted ways with previous drummer Scott Nickell. Recently they started playing shows again with new percussionist Danny Wildridge. The group is now going on ten years as a band that has been rocking St. Louis and beyond.
Track-by-track review of Deathpop:
“Home” – Rhythm section pounces in while the guitar hook fills the down beat. Melodic. The sound on the verses open up, as the rhythm section backs off for the guitar to progress while Lisa takes the lead. “Carry me home to the days where nothing ever got it the way. Carry me home to the days where passion was high, I never felt the weight of time.” Repeat verse and chorus. Excellent guitar solo, very clean. Repeat chorus.
“Stay Awhile”- Guitar grooves from the get go. Melody starts at the same time as the guitar. The chorus quickly comes in and the pace of the song picks up into the chorus. Repeat verse. The second chorus comes in just after one minute’s time. The bridge opens up into the airy atmosphere; Lisa has some beautiful backgrounds going on. They don’t spend too much time on the part for it to dull. After the chorus is repeated, there is a rad lead by Scott that is well-driven by Greg and their now former drummer Scott. This ends the song.
“Go Away”- You hear a slit second of a guitar harmonic and it quickly opens up into this melodic groove with some keyboard in it. The bass has some lead time on the verse. It builds to a crescendo where they all then join in syncopation and it works well. It drives. You really get the vibe once they make the way back to the verse. By the time the chorus comes in, Lisa sings,”Don’t close your eyes, ’cause the walls are closing in. Don’t close your mind, just let it be. Go away, leave me be tonight. All is well.” The bridge presents the listener with the intro groove of guitar harmonics with keyboard accompaniment. This is followed by a wailing guitar solo that just sweeps right past you. Then the chorus comes back in, and the keyboard really adds to the end. At the songs end, you hear the harmonics of the guitar; the tempo slows down completely over a few seconds time to a stand still.
“Still Strong”- Driving guitar and cymbal taps are heard, then the drums and vocals chime in. Lisa sounds strong on this one. Once again, they rip through the verse and chorus in under a minute. Scott delivers a little longer solo this time and brings in the reigns on it to enter the bridge. The chorus rocks on this one again, and it ends the way the music on the verses begin and the music fades out. Good track.
“Second Chance”- Quick drum fill, clean electric guitar introduce this quirky verse. You can hear a synth part in the background as the tempo changes entirely. The pre-chorus returns to the clean guitar sound as the chorus enters with a distorted electric guitar. This song is about second chances, what it would be like if you had the chance to start over. They continue the verse and chorus format. The rhythm guitar works well on the solo part, keeps the vibe of the song going. “Right all the wrongs, give me a second chance to start all over again”, is the last part of the chorus that Lisa sings as it is repeated one more time before this track ends.
“Fly”- This one has what sounds like an acoustic guitar in it on the verses. It has a smooth progression, and Lisa does some smashing harmonies on this one. I particularly like the chorus on this one. Scott even finds a way to squeeze his solo in there, and it works. Excellent transitional song for the album.
“Sinking In” -This one’s a head-bobber. Lisa isn’t even playing around on this one. The chorus has what I think is one of the more extended singing/screaming parts that she has done. I really like the sound on the bridge of the song. Opens this one wide up.
“Tonight”- Drum fills and keyboard fill this song’s intro, followed by a clean delay on the guitar. Greg keeps the low end while also filling it with a bass run. The atmosphere is cool on the verses. There are some good ideas at work on this song. I like the way the bridge progresses to the final chorus.
“Beautiful Day”- Right away, I can tell this might be one of those Panic Attack songs that stands the test of time for the group, one of those that the fans may say they really like over time. Something about the verse. I like the musical direction on this song. Very creative way to introduce the bridge.
“In My Own Bed”- Once again, the song’s hook and entire chorus come and go within the first minute of this one. This one seems to be about when one creates a mess for themselves and strips away everything and everyone from around them, only to experience the reminder that nothing ever stays the same and then to take refuge in the silence of this acknowledgement and find some sort of peace.
“Don’t Ask Why”- Lisa plays some keyboard on the intro of this one as the group begins to ring in together in a style that reminds me of Rush. Sort of. More synth accents are heard on the pre-chorus, which work well. I like the way the guitar rings out over the end of the chorus into the verse again. The bridge and solo would be attention grabbers at a show, if you witness them live in the future. I like that Lisa is experimenting with the keyboard also.
“Sundays”- This one stands out to me right away. Something about the structure of the words and the way Lisa sings them on the verse, it has a unique sound over the others. The bass leads over the drums on the rhythm of the bridge, while the guitar goes off in what begin as a wah-wah and then goes into a solo.
“Natural”- This one is off of another Panic Attack album from 2003, I noticed right away. I am most familiar with this song in particular. It’s the kind of song that by the end, you just might find yourself holding your lighter up to.
For fans of female-fronted rock bands, you will not be disappointed. Lisa’s voice reminds me of a mix between Natalie Merchant of the 10,00 Maniacs and Scott Stapp of Creed a bit.
Find out more about Panic Atack with this LINK:
Review by Christopher Davis, vocalist of the band Ockums Razor