Missiles of October – Don’t Panic

What is this some sort of Douglas Adams reference?  Listen, before we get to the punk, let it be know Deaf Sparrow does not like that novel one bit.  It was one of the most awful and overrated pieces of literature to ever pass these eyes (editor).  Isn't that interesting?  A digression at the start of one of our reviews?  This is groundbreaking, folks, bookmark this for that reason alone.  Now on to the business at hand, punk, Belgian punk.  People often make the mistake of assuming basic country of origin defines the sole propriety of a genre.  Black metal is one of the most guilty, with punk most likely accepting a fine second place medal.  Why?  Because it's usually associated with either Great Britain or America by most, when in fact early developments in punk were all over the place.  "But Belgium?" you ask with uncertainty, "Are you sure you guys know what's going on around here?"  Yes, but let's make it clear, here's X Pulsion with their track "Castration" from 1977.  That should prove there's history with punk over there, so don't be so surprised when we suggest you listen to what this review is about, not a poorly wrought sci-fi satire, but Missiles of October and their new album Don't Panic.

  

Now, first off, technically there are a few different genres going on here.  Missiles of October play more of the hardcore variety of punk, with a nice dose of sludge layered over top.  It should have been pretty obvious this wasn't the typical old school you'd expect from the cover, as any AK references, with a girl even, equals a bit more roughness, but Don't Panic is somewhat surprising.  Once the album begins, Missiles of October don't spend much time altering the main flow of each track, but there's very little replication going on, as most punk is want to do.  Once they catch the main riff, they vary it only slightly, for the most part.  They'll toss out some solos, they'll speed it up, but the main catch in each track is like a hook covered in several reverse barbs, and that thing ain't coming out of there easily.  And that bass, oh yes sir.  We're not talking about the usual meekness you find in a lot of punk, Lionel (also on vocals) has some real density to his bass; turn it up and feel it, it rolls smoothly out of the speakers but yet covers you thicker than swamp mud.  Just tasty, that bass.

 

Don't Panic, as a whole, is one of the better listens we've heard from front to back for a punk release.  Most of the time bands of this type crash and burn in a few tracks, spending too much time on image or giving one too many ois, because the style often relies too much on simplicity.  But Missiles of October have simplicity figured the right way; they aren't too concerned with melting minds, they catch a grind and tear it as long as possible.  With the drums more beat-focused, except when they speed up in certain sections, these guys provide what is nearly a perfect listen, except for those vocals.  This is the second time in the past week we've encountered this issue, but here it was less of a problem.  Punk by virtue of expectation usually works on yelling tones, but though you get that here there's a strange croak to the delivery.  Considering the crush of the music, what you'd expect would be more crust, more screaming, more of the vulgar, there's just something lacking in the way he presents himself, and sometimes the lyrics are a bit detrimental because of how they're delivered, they're almost laughable at certain moments.  Listen, choke down some razor blades so next time we find our pants soiled, that's really what this needed.

 

Missiles of October Official Facebook

Written by Stanley Stepanic

Missiles of October – Don't Panic
Dingleberry Records/Pogo Records/Bonobo Stomp/At War With False Noise
4 / 5