WL//WH REVIEW: “PSYCHOGORIA”, The New Alluring LP by PANIC PRIEST

WL//WH Review PANIC PRIEST

Panic Priest Jack Armondo

Another fantastic release regarding our music these days came from Panic Priest, Chicago, through Negative Gain Productions (CD/Digital) and Midnight Mannequin Records (ltd. Vinyl 12″), on October 21. It is the third long play by singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Jack Armondo as Panic Priest and the record that I hope will lead him to more stages and to more airports…as this new “PSYCHOGORIA” LP is easily his best structured and comprehensive work so far. An album of great musical emotions, all by the streams of the modish synthesized new wave music under the plain post-punk veil.

We all know since 2018 Mr. Armondo is a talented musician who is not really attracted to the perils of the darkwave and its ‘situations’ but a man who is offering at least some delicious and interesting musings. Here things are a bit different as with most artists in the genre during the lockdown; he made a record for us to remember for a long time and a record to dance with it again and again and again and again. I smiled with pleasure at the opening track of the album, “Sanctified” which gives the pace and the sound palette to the entire new work. After the second track I was sure “this album is bliss, man, yeah”. The press kit informed me rightly – written during the height of the lockdown, it’s a record that longs for a return to the club, to dancing and physical connection, to friends and ‘80s dark nights – all true.

I could hardly distinguish another two songs in the album since it has potentially 10 focus tracks (to wit – the whole album); my fave-super-song is “Angelsteal”… which I heard many times on repeat. A song with the ‘correct’ arrangement, with the best pace to dance until tomorrow, and with a glorious work in the mix. Check it out!

And to my surprise, as this album is a gift to all houses that are looking for such good music to enjoy, came the unforgettable and amazing cover of 1984‘s hit “Self Control” initially by the Italian act RAF. It became immediately a massive chart hit back in the day in Europe and a few months later it also made a hit in the U.S. by Laura Branigan (who sadly passed due to a brain aneurysm in 2004). Here, Panic Priest is like he created a memorial for one of his most beloved songs from that era, and more than this he replayed it as a modern post-punk tune. Check it!

“PSYCHOGORIA” LP (what a title for an album!!!) is a collection of superb songs all in the likes of the synth-electro-pop heritage and all on the post-punk rails, and it will also remind you of circumstances like Tears For Fears, Simple Minds, maybe Talking Heads, DM, and then again will bring you the enthusiasm and the innocence of the new wave of the 80s together with the sonic questions and the anxiety of the post-punk of that decade. It is a marvelous album by all means and hints; with so modern and good sound in the studio. No more words from me, here it is, and turn it loud!!!

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Written by Loud Cities’ Mike

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