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Rock // Dublin

"So dumb it's smart!" "Its party music for the generation that just dont care anymore" BBC.
"The bands mix of styles and dark imagery has whetted appetites for the year ahead" STATE.
"Vengeance are setting a fire under the backside of Dublin" MIRROR.

*** Irish punk-mental-party rock metalists release new EP

‘We Who Feel Our Lobes Of Penitence Groped By Things With Petrol Claws...’

London shows in May ***

Where to begin with Vengeance & The Panther Queen? Finding the starting point of a band who smash together Stooges, SST, Suicidal Tendencies, Seattle, Sunset Strip, Sly Stone, Scandinavian metal and stoner rock straight outta the desert for their light starters seems a near-impossible quest. Where ever it comes from it’s blended in Dublin in the bloodstream of a beast called Vengeance.

If prankster Gods were to simultaneously fire 50 strangers’ record collections into the same spot in the heavens, out of the ensuing big bang one could just see Vengeance, dusting herself down as she steps from the explosion of shattered vinyl, staring back through the settling dust toward gawping Godheads trying to get brains around their own divine Weird Science moment. After all, isn’t it usually the case that mythical crossbreeds with monikers made for comic books occur where you’ve got a big puff smoke and a little suspension of disbelief?

Whether or not she’s not the beast from the bang, Vengeance & The Panther Queen is a world unto herself, and spins to lore unknown to earth musicians’ ears. Her five corners are Tara McCormack (battle cries and harridan howls of a born leader; plus a terrorizing dash of foot stamping shrieks that denote someone who WILL gets her way), Mik Pyro and Darrock (dual assault and battery of solos sharp ‘n’ fast as a ninja wielding a machete and hulking stoner riffs threatening terrifying brute force), Benjamin Loose (you’ll hear the bass with your belly before your ears) and Andres Antunes (beats to bring an army to attention bringing hordes to the dance floor, as the mood takes).

Dirty filthy Dublin clubs were shredded by Vengeance and The Panther Queen. Thousands were flattened at Ireland's Electric Picnic Festival. Twenty opening minutes of mayhem before New York Dolls and Electric Six followed. And now, the band are heading to London, where they’ll play a string of gigs in the days leading up to the May 28th release of their new EP - ‘We Who Feel Our Lobes Of Penitence Groped By Things With Petrol Claws...’

With a video missive for the tune ‘My Ebola’ to be posted in the run up to the EP release and live dates, the English capital can’t say it hasn’t been warned of the sonic bomb heading its way, and so there’ll be no excuse for failing to get down to the dance floor by the time this thing goes off. What happens to those who choose to go without joining the party is something Tara leaves to the darkest reaches of imagination, as she informs listeners to ’Partyfight’ that even painting the town with them is liable to incur psychic bloodshed. With its chants of “she likes to party but she also likes to fight / so if you don’t like violence you’d better say good night”, the tune is a culture-clash calling card for the eclectic Vengeance, leaving no corner of a city divers unturned, the band themselves uninformed as to what’s headed its way in May, as Vengeance’s stink-bomb of colliding stimuli portend chaos and Tara sings in tongues - English, Chinese, Spanish and Portuguese, specifically.

Although a cover, originally recorded by US punks Millions of Dead Cops, ’I Hate Work’ is a number Vengeance truly make their own - adding a metal edge and reiteration of ‘Partyfight’s statement of their intentions (to do nothing, but have a good time). Set these songs alongside the stompy punk rock savagery of EP opener ‘This is Not a Dignified Way to Make a Living‘, and a theme may appear to be emerging, but make no mistake, getting Vengeance & The Panther Queen’s number won‘t be that easy.

Cramming in dozens of curveballs for every cubic decibel of its noisy assault, the aforementioned ‘My Ebola’ is perhaps the EP‘s most manic track. A three-and-a-half-minute mini rock opera, it works Motorhead speed metal into a frantic yelping Kat Bjelland vocals, grunge’s sonic drone and anti-fame philosophy, and the sort of fast fretwork that maketh a Guitar Hero, in the term’s truest sense. At its finale - a pyrotechnic solo so over the top it’s every bit as silly as it is technically smart - one almost sees Vengeance step out of the aural orgy a moment, to look in and sneak a grin at rock’s inherent absurdity, before diving right back to the thick of grinding riffs and head banging rhythms with reckless abandon.

On the one hand this is music upholding an old-skool rocker’s values; the thinking that heavy music gives life its meaning, and so one works only to stock record shelves and see shows - and endures work’s daily drudgery only on the encouragement of that next stupendous show. On the other though, this is in no way rock as we know it, because even if you’ve heard it all before, you haven’t heard it all at once, the way Vengeance & The Panther Queen play it.

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