Reviews Pandemix In Condemnation


In Condemnation

Pandemix are new to me, and they’re difficult to sum up in just a few words. That’s a complement. It’s punk by genre, but a few subgenre adjectives aren’t going to capture the band. In Condemnation isn’t exactly complex (we’re talking punk rock here), but it’s diverse in subtle ways that keep the energy level high and fresh as it shreds through 10 tracks in 28 minutes.

There’s a 1980s bluntness, along with vocalist Shannon Thompson’s general style that’s a speak-sing-shout with vitriol, spite and, yes, condemnation. But the music is far from the predictable verse-chorus-verse singalong where you know the words on first listen. The lyrics tell a story instead of a catchphrase and the music builds up and shifts gears accordingly. The guitars here are as much The Jesus Lizard as they are Black Flag.

Those unpredictable turns give extra power throughout. “No Monuments” sets the tone early. After a brief intro, a heavy beat segues into fierce aggression with a few breathers interspersed before a hellacious breakdown kicks it into overdrive to finish. That energy transfers in “Can’t Assimilate,” one of many standouts on the record, which is a little more chord-heavy but with some quick change-of-direction moments that keep it from feeling repetitive. I guess a recurring theme would be that when the storytelling element needs a break the band goes into full circle-pit mode. The tonal breaks in “Synthetix” recall Subhumans UK or Crass and the rapid-fire delivery of “Downward Trend” is frantic-on-the-verge-of-manic. The drums really keep it all together, seamlessly shifting gears when needed. It all culminates at the close with “Column of Light,” spitting a breathy and urgent declaration that, “May every breath/ I ever draw/ be used in condemnation.”

You’ll notice I’m namedropping a lot of classics here. The sound is rooted there, but the modern production captures its raw energy and sounds both live, yet professional. The backing vocals in “Oblivion Lullabies” have shades of turn-of-the-millennia hardcore. While I keep talking ‘80s bands, much of the early hardcore groups for me grow stagnant after a while because of the redundancy. There is so much variety within In Condemnation, yet it’s cohesive and subtle without losing its tone or its own voice. I’m already excited to hear more from the band.

8.9 / 10Loren
VEGAS - Not Ever banner
Leave a comment

Dirt Cult


8.9 / 10

8.9 / 10

Share this content
Related features

One Question Interviews Pandemix

Posted Sept. 23, 2018, 5:07 a.m.

Shannon (Pandemix) SPB: Who is your favorite lyricist? Shannon: Vi Subversa of Poison Girls. The way that she weaves the personal into the political until ...

VEGAS - Not Ever skyscraper
Recent reviews

Broadway Calls

Meet Me On The Moon

8.0 / 10 Broadway Calls - Meet Me On The Moon album cover
200 Words Or Less

Meet Me On The Moon is a teaser single for the new LP, Sad In The City, which also happens to be Broadway Calls’ first new full-length in almost a decade (which ...

Mutant Reavers

Monster Punk

6.0 / 10 Mutant Reavers - Monster Punk album cover

Back in the late nineties I started listening to horrropunk. To this day it is one of my favourite scenes. Back in the day I listened to basically everything I ...

Kissed by an Animal

Kissed by an Animal

4.0 / 10 Kissed by an Animal - Kissed by an Animal album cover

Kissed by an Animal is getting the vinyl treatment a year after release of their self title album from 2019. To describe these guys, well it’s hard to nail down ...



Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:

Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.