Panthers
The Trick
Vice
*** (3.5 stars outta 5)

Is it too late to have a discussion about bands named after animals? I guess with the “wolf market being so oversaturated, it’s only natural that bands branch out. Japanther is a good name. Tiger Army is okay, I guess. And, of course, the original (I think) animal band name: Hawkwind! The thing about animal band names, though, is this: The band should at least embody some of the more anthropomorphic attributes associated with the animal they’ve chosen as their emblem. Case in point: If you name your band after a wolf, your songs should be a bit wily, flashing a hint of danger like barely concealed fangs. Panthers, on the other hand, are symbolically quite different. Panthers are a brooding malevolence. A sleek force of nature crawling languidly through lush foliage, awaiting the opportune moment to pounce upon their unsuspecting prey.

The Trick, then, is just that: a trick. Ten urgent songs, not wasting a moment, that combine the crunch of stoner jams with the stomp of a hardcore upbringing, with heavy doses of melody. This is no slow and deliberate panther stalking you in the shadows. This is the explosion unleashed the moment of a vicious attack.—Andreas Trolf