Words About Music
Space-Age Pessimist “Panic Attacks in the Key of C”
My inbox is almost constantly filled with artists reaching out to reviewers looking to get their music reviewed. Sometimes I review the smalltime artists who reach out to me, sometimes I don’t. I recently got an email from a dude named Anthony who sent me a link to his new album “Panic Attacks in the Key of C,” a short 10-track album of acoustic emotional folk-punk that is mostly lyric-based. It’s not the world’s happiest record, but I think fans of the folk-punk and emo genres could find things within this album and the rest of his discography that they find desirable in other bands.
I don’t know too much about Anthony or his Space-Age Pessimist project, but I do know that I rather enjoy what I’ve heard on this album. It’s somewhat rare to hear a relatively unknown musician sound so vulnerable on a project and still be able to take it seriously. I don’t know if the man behind this project is depressed, but he has definitely suffered some hard emotional times that I can relate to and he goes about detailing them in a way that isn’t gimmicky or too, well, depressing. In fact, for a sad record I actually found it fun to listen to. Maybe it’s because that even though the subject matter is upsetting, the songs themselves are upbeat in a sort of “let’s gather ’round the campfire and sing our campfire song” kind of way. That’s what has always appealed to me when it comes to a lot of the folk-punk bands.
Don’t expect anything very musical about “Panic Attacks.” The song structures are pretty simple as are the chords played. In fact, Anthony even confesses in one of the song titles that one of the tracks contains the closest thing to a guitar solo—which consists of a couple finger slides—that he can play. But hey, not every band has to be great at their instruments. That doesn’t seem to be what this album is about anyway. It’s a guy who felt passionate about something and picked up an instrument and sang about it, and when it comes to the vocals he is definitely capable. If I do have one complaint about “Panic Attacks,” it’s that it is criminally short. It’s only 10 songs, like I mentioned, and it’s a little under 20 minutes. I certainly wouldn’t mind hearing a full-fledged 40-minute project from Space-Age Pessimist, with some better production and more direction.
Overall, this isn’t a bad album. It’s pretty good actually, especially for someone who’s familiar with this particular genre. The lyrics are relatable and real and aren’t too vague. Even in its sadness it’s quite fun to listen to, surprisingly enough, and if you happen to be on the lookout for something in this style I recommend it. If you wanna check it out, listen to it on Bandcamp here for free.
SCORE – 7.3
FAVORITE TRACKS – Do You Like Space?, Friends ‘Til the End?, Damage, 27, Happy Song, 2013