Album Review: Death Panthers – Nothing Left To Lose Nothing To Prove

Death Panthers are not really taking things slowly. They have already released two EPs this year and today marks the release of their debut full-length album Nothing To Lose Nothing To Prove. The album sees the band rapidly maturing their sound as they sonically accelerate at a rapid pace away from the dirty DIY-punk sound that characterised their earlier material.

Their new album sees them finding their footing in a hazy and noisy fusion of punk-tinted indie rock and the gloomy aesthetics of psych-rock. “Pop Song” is a piece jangling yet erratic indie-rock that takes after the title of the song. Guitar hooks lurk around every corner in the song as Oliver Thomas blurts out nonsensical lyrics in a drawling fashion that is well-suited to the songs slow-tempo groove. “Oh” is another hook-laden indie-rock song that plays around with some aspects of noise-pop as the instrumental section rises up to be a haphazard mixture of guitars and percussion that just seems to create an aloof and upbeat atmosphere.

However, Nothing To Lose Nothing To Prove isn’t exclusively about maturing into a band with serious indie rock credentials. Many songs still retain that DIY-punk sound that thrust the band onto the music scene like unwanted advances from your third cousin. “Out of Town” follows from an incredibly noisy introduction track and is primarily a cacophony of guitars and drums that bristle with the same kind of rebellious energy that accompanied punk rock of the 60s and early 70s. “Too Late” is a flurry of driving guitar riffs and pounding drums that is bound to get people moving on whatever we call the dance floor at a rock show.

The album closes on an indie-punk note with “Parents”. A song fuses indie-rock hooks with the energy and lyrical aesthetics of a pubescent pop punk in a backwards American town. All in all, Nothing To Lose Nothing To Prove is not the best produced South African album of all time, but it is still an incredibly exciting album that brings something fresh and interesting to South Africa’s stagnating rock scene.


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