Headed by Chicago’s Jack Armondo, Panic Priest has already charmed listeners with two stellar albums that dabbled in the space between several dark genres. From the moment Psychogoria kicks off, listeners are thrust back into a realm where leather-clad fists and popped collars collide with neon sunsets, setting the tone for an electrifying twist of goth, new wave, and synthpop. “Sanctified” demands attention with its infectious energy and beckons the listener into the depths in a notably vampiric fashion. With “When Daylight Disappears,” the album goes further into mesmerism as the track presents a fusion of driving goth undertones reminiscent of iconic bands like The Sisters of Mercy, all infused with a unique twist akin to Duran Duran’s stylings. The middle section of the song takes flight, audibly propelled by the intricate interplay of synths.
The title track, “Psychogoria” lives up to its name by offering an anthemic and punchy soundscape reminiscent of Depeche Mode’s finest moments. The rhythmic backbone drives the song forward with a commanding presence, while the ethereal synths dance around the edges, creating an atmosphere that’s simultaneously nostalgic and contemporary. Delving into “She’s My Guy,” the record takes a sultry turn, enveloping listeners in a seductive embrace as the lyrics make this something of a sonic rendezvous. Compounded by a chorus that has a fantastic hook delivered with a smoky allure, the song becomes quite an intoxicating tale. One of the standout moments of Psychogoria comes in the form of a cover of Laura Branigan’s “Self Control.” This classic track, already possessed of beguiling tones, is transformed into a crooned anthem under Panic Priest’s touch. The muted guitars inject the song with a newfound edge as the interpretation stays true to the original while giving it a different depth.
Psychogoria is a solid album from start to finish, reflecting on the interplay of past and present, where the echoes of dark ‘80s pop find new life and expression in a world all their own. Panic Priest’s artistry lies in the ability to pay homage without becoming ensnared in the trappings of nostalgia and pushing forward all the same… excellent!
Website, Facebook, SoundCloud, Bandcamp, YouTube, Instagram
Negative Gain Productions
Website, Facebook, Bandcamp, YouTube, Instagram
Midnight Mannequin Records
Facebook, Bandcamp, YouTube, Instagram