My first listen to this EP prompted the following reaction – “strange..but rather brill!”. The Dublin five piece certainly live up to that reaction. Repeated listens to this blast of Punk-Metal-Party Rock mentalism only reinforce this feeling. The band themselves list influences as diverse as The Stooges, SST, Suicidal Tendencies, Seattle, Sunset Strip, Sly Stone, Scandinavian metal and stoner rock – and you can certainly hear all this and more.
Opening track “This is Nota a Dignified Way to Make a Living (Floating)” blends elements of Rage Against the Machine and Garbage with their own uniquely brilliant strangeness. Tara McCormacks banshee vocals cut across the heavy riffing and battle noise of the band. Cramming in dozens of curveballs for every cubic decibel of its noisy assault, second track ‘My Ebola’ is perhaps the EP‘s most manic track. A three-and-a-half-minute mini rock opera, it works Motorhead speed metal into a frantic yelping Kat Bjelland vocals, grunge’s sonic drone and anti-fame philosophy, and the sort of fast fretwork that maketh a Guitar Hero, in the term’s truest sense. At its finale – a pyrotechnic solo so over the top it’s every bit as silly as it is technically smart – one almost sees Vengeance step out of the aural orgy a moment, to look in and sneak a grin at rock’s inherent absurdity, before diving right back to the thick of grinding riffs and head banging rhythms with reckless abandon.
What happens to those who choose to go without joining the party is something Tara leaves to the darkest reaches of imagination, as she informs listeners to ’Partyfight’ that even painting the town with them is liable to incur bloodshed. Featuring chants of “she likes to party but she also likes to fight / so if you don’t like violence you’d better say good night” and Tara singing in tongues (English, Chinese, Spanish and Portuguese, specifically), the culture-clash calling card tune alerts all quarters of a metropolis mixed as Vengeance’s influences list to what’s headed it’s way in May .
Although a cover, originally recorded by US punks Millions of Dead Cops, ’I Hate Work’ is a number Vengeance truly make their own – adding a metal edge and reiteration of ‘Partyfight’s statement of their intentions (to do nothing, but have a good time). Set these songs alongside the stompy punk rock savagery of EP opener ‘This is Not a Dignified Way to Make a Living‘, and a theme may appear to be emerging, but make no mistake, getting Vengeance & The Panther Queen’s number won‘t be that easy.
All the tracks combine to confirm one thing. Vengeance and the Panther Queen are quite simply strange but brilliant. Check out the EP and if you’re in London in May, their live shows can only be things of total mayhem to look forward to.
Vengeance & the Panther Queen play the folowing dates in London in May:
Weds 23rd May – LONDON Notting Hill Arts Club (Death2Disco club)
Fri 25th May – LONDON Camden Barfly (Jubilee club & ‘We Who Feel Our Lobes Of Penitence Groped By Things With Petrol Claws…’ release party!)