Album Cover
Let's Get Serious
Dim Mak
April 08, 2003


The Panthers meet all the requisites of a political indie-punk band - thumping bass, memorable-but-not-too-memorable guitar riffs, and loud, staticky vocals overlaid; but, somewhere, behind everything, a political meaning, a message of some indistinguishable sort, from the music to the people, no matter what the man says, that keeps the listener thinking while he or she nods his or her head. I mean, there must be one, because they say there is. And they sound reasonably angst-ridden. Maybe that came from the government, or something. But, with their Let's Get Serious EP, the five-piece from Brooklyn combines these standards into a mix that's actually, for the most part, surprisingly good.

I'm probably being overly harsh about the political message of the album. It's just that it's completely indistinguishable, due in large part to the overall indistinguishability of the lyrics. Let's Get Serious shares sound engineer Steve Revitte with the Liars' They Threw Us All in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top, and it shows, in the way the lyrics are completely fuzzed out with static. For all I know, maybe there is a message in there somewhere, a potent one, one that we need to know and have put to us through rawk. But, alas.

Message aside, the music on Let's Get Serious is, for the most part, pretty good. "Thank Me With Your Hands" is the highlight of the mini-album, with the album's best guitar work, and quiet, calm interludes that contrast starkly but nicely with the rest of the song's abrasive loudness. "It's Not the Heat It's the Humility" and "Don't Be a Dick" are less novel, but good songs nonetheless.

"There's still an empowered language running throughout this record but it is less of Newton & Seale's rhetorical approach as in their previous and more of a Vaneigem personal/political angle. Panthers still draw their theories from personal power plays, and discuss identity politics and privilege through language, rhetoric and presence," says the album's blurb on Dim Mak's website. If you ignore this completely and accept it as standard but above-average noisy punk, it's a solid little EP.

Noah Jackson

Track List

  1. Thank Me With Your Hands
  2. It's Not the Heat It's the Humility
  3. Post-Fascist Fantasies
  4. Sexist, Not Sexy
  5. Don't Be a Dick