Of all the things I love about Rest In Pieces, the new LP from the Panic Beats, what I love most is the fact that at least four of the tracks take their names from classic slasher trash cinema. For the record, that's "Silent Night, Deadly Night," "I Drink Your Blood," "God Forgives, I Don't," and "A Hatchet For the Honeymoon." Now, as I've not seen any of these movies (making me a wonderful scholar, but terrible fan, of horror), I can't state as to the conjunction between film plot and lyrics on this new album. However, the lyrics are quite gory, as per usual: "Rest In Pieces" has "I'll dissect meticulously/ all of you," while album opener "Chop Chop" kicks off with "It's time to sharpen my blade" before moving into talking about "fresh meat." The band's albums have increased in tone pretty much much parallel to the cover art of their full-lengths. As the albums' lyrical content has become more Teenage Bottlerocket by way of Herschel Gordon Lewis, their covers have gone from ominous to out-and-out gore. The cover to this one is now different, featuring our hoodied protagonist (who I only just realized bears an uncanny resemblance to the poster for Maniac) holding a decapitated head ... and grinning.
Now that the hooded killer's finally caught up with his victim and dispatched her, I can't help But wonder where Dale VanThomme's going to go next. There's a hint at the end of Rest In Pieces, I'd like to think: the title track is an acoustic number with guest vocals from Amanda Smith, and the lyrics seem to reflect a certain end to this cycle of stalking and killing.
You can buy the album on black vinyl from the Panic Beats' Bandcamp. Blue vinyl, limited to 100 and a poster from P. Trash, is sold out.