The PanicKing – Million Dollar Mouth (Atonal Records)
It’s hard to be a pop star who wants to make thrilling three to four minute missiles of rock, keeping the hooks and the guile needed for mainstream airplay, but never losing sight of that tension and dirt that make for a rewarding Pow!! to the senses musical explosion.
Million Dollar Mouth belong in that sparse wasteland, somewhere between the loose jams of the independent and the too fine polish of the Adult Alternative crowd. This is a land where the tunes are crafted yes, but not for a second losing their fragile heart or their honest intensity.
In other words, their wasteland is a delightful place to be.
There is something comforting in the way they deliver a thrashing guitar melody, and counterpoint it with a carefully judged lead vocal that floats above subtle harmonies. In some reviews they are called tasteful, and while that’s well meant, I think it does them a disservice, because it implies that the band play it safe with their songs. This is so not the case, sure these are creations aimed straight to the heart of the chart, but they are also pulsing real things tensed up with pop steel.
The tension is the thing here, they write about darker times, scary times, where the soul shattered and picking up the pieces seemed an impossible task, then they gleefully shove in some messy dollops of hope and the ability of rock n roll to release you, if only for the time it takes the tune to unravel.
There will be some hip young things that will not listen here and that will be their loss, and there will be some that are taken by surprise and as the chords and voice and sonics sink in, find them selves thoughtful, even disturbed.
In a very good way.
You can hear tracks from this album on the NBT Podcast going out on the 30th June 2010
If you use Internet Explorer you can stream snippets of a couple of the Tunes here
(After the intro Click on the ‘#Just want to look around# text it will take u thru to next page)
A chart made up from browsers rating and listening to the song streams can be found here: