Mar 2013 06

Panic Lift - Is This Goodbye?Panic Lift
Category: Electro / Industrial
Album: Is This Goodbye?
Stars: 4
Blurb: A multidimensional album that creates an almost unclassifiable, but rather enjoyable sound.


When the New Jersey act Panic Lift titled its newest creation Is this Goodbye?, the band was waving goodbye to its former sound. The initial release Witness to Our Collapse was harsh and relentless, but Is this Goodbye? shed some rough skin and moisturized it with tamer rhythms, more electro based beats, and coherent vocals. From album to album, it’s a completely bipolar experience. The album starts off with a mildly upbeat track called “Temptress.” Immediately, the listener is introduced to singing rather than industrial growls – one would be inclined to label it synthpop. If you’re an industrial purist, the musical and vocal change will likely turn you away. However, if you can give into experiencing various genres of industrial and try your hardest to put Panic Lift’s original sound at the back of your mind, you should be able to delve deep and enjoy the album from “Temptress” on. Following up, “Kill Me Faster” steals a page from Depeche Mode, which is a good thing as sensual and varied vocals collide with springy beats to create an inviting dance floor atmosphere. Then, Panic Lift seems to pay homage to Gary Numan and Nine Inch Nails with grinding synths on “Transient.” It’s not original, but it’s a damn good track. There is also a hint of auto-tune, but it’s utilized as a proper effect rather than a pop-lip syncing cheat. Panic Lift’s methodology remains constant and nothing on the album jumps out at the listener until “Footsteps;” its beat is rampant and will induce hip swaying at all the underground goth clubs. Then all of a sudden, the next track, “Awake” attacks you like a bad high school memory from the ‘90s. It rips through your head with roaring guitars and screaming vocals, sounding like a completely different band invaded the studio and stole a track from Panic Lift, further proving this act cannot be defined by any one genre. Next up is this reviewer’s favorite track on the album, “Pushed Aside.” The song falls somewhere between industrial and synthpop, giving layers to an already stacked album. However, this one just maintains a flow the other tracks don’t and rather than using auto-tune, vocalist James Frances uses a modifier much more conducive to Panic Lift’s songs. Siren-like synths plus beautiful and deranged vocals make this an instant single in this reviewer’s opinion. The album ends on two songs, which last more than six-and-a-half minutes each. Unfortunately, this makes the album drag out. Had the album maintained its current pace, it may have gotten repetitive, but, the alternative was a dull and drawn out end. Having a strong album like this end on such a slow note may not have been the correct answer. Most of the final track is just a baby crying and a man seemingly babbling on about nothing. However, this album offers eight excellent and varied tracks; that is, unless you count the three remixes on the deluxe and digital editions, all of which do well to maintain energy much more conducive to the album as a whole. For its danceable rhythms, smooth vocals, and genre-bending elements, Is This Goodbye? is a most own for electro and synthpop fans.
Track list:

  1. Temptress
  2. Kill Me Faster
  3. Transient
  4. When Euphoria Ends
  5. Footsteps
  6. Awake
  7. Bad Company
  8. Pushed Aside
  9. Is This Goodbye?
  10. We are the Illusion
  11. Kill Me Faster (FGFC820 Remix)
  12. Awake (Life Cried Remix)
  13. Temptress (Encephalon Remix)

Panic Lift Website
Panic Lift MySpace
Panic Lift Facebook
Panic Lift Twitter
Panic Lift ReverbNation
Metropolis Records Website
Metropolis Records MySpace
Metropolis Records Facebook
Metropolis Records Twitter
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazom MP3
Grant V. Ziegler (GVZ)

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