Review Summary: Jimmy Ruin, Tom Z, and DJ Cub give us something to look forward to and something to enjoy now
Yes, those are really their names. After learning that I was a bit skeptical as well but don’t let them fool you, this is a quality aggrotech release. With their first full length release, Witness to Our Collapse,
Panic Lift have really made a name for themselves within the whole electro/industrial scene. Aggressive and violent distorted harsh vocals, fantastic production, excellent beats and some seriously catchy synth lines, the recipe for a good industrial release is all there.
As per the usual within the genre, the mood isn’t set to be very friendly. When the beat kicks in on Everything I Have
, you pretty much know what you’re in for. Some songs are pretty boring and kind of drag on, most notably Shelter
and the title track, but it doesn’t really do much to slow the album down. Something that is pretty annoying, though, is that the title track is actually really good when you get to the actual song but the sample of some political/social rant that is placed throughout most of it makes it hard to enjoy. Silly samples do pop up once or twice more (Save Yourself
) but other than the title track, it’s easy to ignore.
One more problem I have with this album is its clean vocals. They kind of suck. It’s disappointing, too, because the melody is good, they’re not misplaced or anything, but the execution sounds really forced and just bad. They’re lower in the mix than the harsh vocals, which might have something to do with it too, but they do only appear on two songs. Hold On
has some of my favorite synth on the album but those damn cleans really distract from that. Harsh vocals are about 90% of the vocals on the album and they’re much better, so it really is a minor issue that can be easily fixed by the time their second album.
While for the most part, this is a fairly typical EBM release, there’s some experimentation going on. Songs like Failsafe
and Remnants of a Dead Age
are straight up good and catchy industrial music. Some songs are good in a different way, such as Seasons Change
, which is a slow and calm instrumental track, and it shows to not only be a perfect segue into the most sinister song on the album, but also one of the album’s best songs on its own. Then there’s the closer, Butterfly Wings (My Only Hope)
, which again is slow and calm, but it also includes an acoustic guitar intro and outro accompanied by some piano, and oh yea, it’s eight minutes long. It’s a strong track, the switching off between clean and harsh vocals work pretty well, and even though it’s a bit too long for its own good, it works out in the end. It’s easily the best choice to end the album with.
Witness to Our Collapse
shows quite a lot of potential for this trio, with flaws that can be easily worked out which makes me think the next album Panic Lift releases is going to be spectacular. They’re already pretty big within the scene, they have the determination and creativity, things just need to be put together a little bit better. I see this band’s career going nowhere but up from here. What we’re witnessing is much more of a construction than a collapse.