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Death Sentence: Panda! – Insects Awaken (CD, Upset The Rhythm)

Posted: April 4th, 2009, by Justin Snow

I gotta get this right out there, and I know I’m not alone in this. Punctuation in a band name is mostly intolerable. There are a few exceptions both with specific punctuation (commas, hyphens) and specific bands (Godspeed You! Black Emperor is probably the only one I really have no problem with, although why they moved the exclamation point from the end to the middle is beyond me). And for some reason, I never seem to enjoy the music these grammar obsessed bands create. I don’t think I’m being petty and shallow but then again, it’s hard to tell.

Death Sentence: Panda! already has, let’s count ’em, two strikes against them but I’m doing my best to look past that and focus only on the music. Thankfully, that’s a pretty easy task with these guys. They take a generally overdone genre like noise punk and add their own skronky artness to it. Like a slightly mellower Melt Banana with horns. Or They Shoot Horses Don’t They if they took lessons from Lightning Bolt. This is in your face and impossible to ignore. It’s loud as hell and somehow only coming from 3 people.

There’s all sorts of weird stuff going on like flutes and Glockenspiels, disgusting, growling guitars and crazy ass drums, and, of course, a female singer. The songs are super short and super catchy. They don’t always have a chorus or even lyrics but there’s there no shortage of hooks on Insects Awaken. You’ll have songs like the 22 second “Progress” running loops in your head the instant you hear it.

I feel like Insects Awaken is probably objectively better than how much I specifically like it. Which is saying a lot because I am really fucking into this record. I just think that the horns (which I generally am not a fan of) and the punctuation thing are making me hold back a little bit. If that’s the case, then even those who are in the same boat as me will really like Death Sentence: Panda! And for those of you that aren’t as superficial as I am, Insects Awaken is your new favorite record.

Death Sentence: Panda!
Upset The Rhythm

Justin Snow

Justin resides on Lon Lon Ranch in Massachusetts with his wife and two magical bunnies who help him raise a herd of lifegiving milk cows. A childhood encounter with the evil lord Ganondorf brought about his love of music genres involving the words DOOM, DEATH and DESTRUCTION. Justin also enjoys watching films, playing Ludo and eating popsicles.


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