Monday, 26th June 2017. 4:43:03am ET
Reviews CD Reviews (EBM, Electro, Electronica) Panic Lift- Witness to Our Collapse


ARTIST: Panic Lift

ALBUM: Witness to Our Collapse

LABEL: Hive Records

REVIEWER: Matthew J.

DATE: 6-27-09

 

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Panic Lift's debut album gets everything right. Probably the closest thing to classic EBM that Hive Records has ever released, it's nonetheless as intricate and smartly crafted as you could hope to hear, perhaps even more so since it manages to be highly intelligent while sticking closely to the narrow confines of club-friendly dance tracks. "Failsafe," for example, is a straight-ahead EBM stomp that maintains interest by taking typical distorted vocals and using digital delay to echo them into multiple layers of sound, while "Shelter" pairs raw, emotionally bare vocal work with energetic trance leads and high-BPM kicks for a sound that recalls Razed in Black's more recent material. As appealing as the straightforward offerings are, the more experimental tracks are even better, diverging from the norm while remaining eminently accessible. Title track "Witness to Our Collapse" uses sampled political speech, trip-hop beats, and a minor-key synth line to create a grim mood, then ratchets up the tension tenfold by bursting into a slow marching rhythm punctuated by rasping bellowed vocals, while instrumental "Seasons Change" uses symphonic pads and tinkling pianos for an effect that's more melancholy than angry. Final track "Butterfly Wings" encompasses both sides of the spectrum, starting out with, of all things, acoustic guitar strums and unprocessed singing; synthesized string and piano motifs sweep in to fill out the sound, and as the vocals shift to distortion and the drum sequences take their place in the arrangement, the song becomes a monster of an electro epic, harsh yet gorgeous. Just accessible enough to hook casual listeners but taking enough sonic risks and detours to keep things interesting, this release is a sure cure for EBM fans weary of too many cookie-cutter club tracks.

Check out Panic Lift at www.paniclift.com.


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