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The History of Pan!c

Fight! Fight! Fight!

(Le Grande Magistery; US: 17 Jul 2012; UK: 27 Mar 2012)

Gerald Roesser’s work as the History of Pan!c sounds fittingly resilient on his debut, Fight! Fight! Fight!. His electro-pop is full of warm hue and thumping beats, but its charm and success comes in its stripped down approach. Rather than try to outdo the sweet excess of bands like Passion Pit, Roesser peels back the layers for lean pop on the catchy opener “Out of Control” and the tongue-in-cheek “when I grow up” tune, “Joyce Do It”. He can get a tad bigger on the dayglow, ‘80s-style dance pop of “Devil’s Boredom” or he can cool his keys and stringy guitars into something moodier on “Fight Song”. Either way, he’s most successful when they layers don’t overwhelm, where he gets to stand in front of concise music and be a frontman. When he overbuilds the gauzy synths on “Anthem for Panic” or over-cranks the guitars on the disco-funk of “DRBY”, things feel more bloated than soaring. Overall, though, Fight! Fight! Fight! is a promising debut, one that lands its strongest blows when it’s at its scrappiest.

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Matthew Fiander is a music critic for PopMatters and Prefix Magazine. He also writes fiction and his work has appeared in The Yalobusha Review. He received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from UNC-Greensboro and currently teaches writing and literature at High Point University in High Point, NC. You can follow him on Twitter at @mattfiander.


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