One of the main thoughts that haunted my mind during lockdown was the inevitable wave of music circling round and round this topic with dull take after dull take. Notebooks and notebooks of lyrics chased me down and threatened to never let me go with a moment that our culture wouldn't be able to move from or generate an interesting thought about, but this new release from INiiT Records has given me a renewed hope that we still have so much to say on a personal level about the tragic and alienating period we've all lived through. Maisonette have created a powerful, forward-thinking yet graciously reverent record that is an absolute antidote and anthem to pushing through the loneliness and fatigue that I'm sure we've all felt so intensely these past few months.
From the velcro-grinding fuzz of the opening bass of "Constant" to the final and sincere words of "Lifeboat", Maisonette create a fantastically passionate take on pop-punk. Their sound seems to pick up where Title Fight left off (yes even with a touch of "Hyperview") and takes it through to the UK where the isolation has truly taken over. I'm a huge fan of the guitar sounds, a nice thick but open driving tone with a chorus liberally used throughout to really emphasise the dynamics the band throws at you. The way that more typical song structures are played with the punch up the songs and keep your ears entertained seems particularly in-tune with my own low attention span. So if you, like me, enjoy being constantly kept on your toes as a listener then you will not be disappointed with this release.
Maisonette don't neglect to bring the hooks though, every track brings a chorus that I cannot wait for people to shout back at the band live but the hyperactive approach to structure makes sure nothing overstays its welcome. It's a particularly hard trick to pull off and speaks highly of the potential writing process behind everything. I'm incredibly excited to hear what they come up with next and how they'll work with a full length album release. If they can keep tp this energy and attention to detail on this release then we have another absolute classic on our hands.
Definitely pick this one up, another in an incredible string of releases from INiiT Records.
Stream and download Panic Earth on Bandcamp here.
Like Maisonette on Facebook here.
This review was written by Theo Martin-Herbert.