If you’ve not heard the hype surrounding Moral Panics, where have you been hiding?!Despite their undoubtedly cool persona and ocassional unruly stage diving antics, don’t be fooled as their new EP ‘Ataraxia’ is sounding more mature and perfected than ever.
I’ve become fairly familiar with this band over the past year, having seen them more times that I can remember and being a regular listener. The prospect of releasing another EP is always a brave move as it will undoubtedly be compared to the success of past releases, but thankfully Moral Panics have nothing to fear as they return with this seemingly cool and enhanced sound.
‘Mammoths’ is the first track and what a track it is. Having previously reviewed this as a single a few weeks back, I cannot stress highly enough just how good it is! It’s the perfect opener for the EP, giving a taster of the brilliance that later unfolds. Introducing a slightly newer sound, it’s a bit different from their previous material but is definitely up there with my favourite Moral Panics tracks, bursting with passion and conjuring a storm of dexterity. If you have time I’d definitely check out the music video for it as well.
The second track ‘Here’ kicks off with a classic drumbeat, and the introduction of the bass and sprightly riff overlaying it adds an unmistakable groove that sounds pretty immense when played at full volume. It’s slightly more chilled than the opening track, which I quite like as it allows you the opportunity to properly get into the EP without being too overwhelmed from the outset. There’s an element in the chorus that reminds me of Two Door Cinema Club, yet this influence is mixed with something a bit more cutting that rules it out from being a generic indie track and throws a bit of grunge in there.
‘Calidore’ launches straight into an oscillating riff and an unmistakably catchy one at that. It’s eerily beautiful – the marginally upbeat undertone, which is almost cancelled out by a more sincere and sorrowful vocal, creates a divine result that captures what this EP is all about and the direction Moral Panics are pursuing.
Track 4, ‘Lungs’, is another gritty track that combines thoughtfully crafted lyrics, powerful drumming and an explosion of a chorus that is simply electric. The bass in the verses allows Dan’s intense vocal to flourish, and once again the lads have come up with another timeless and effortless melody that just screams out their iconic sound – but version 2.0.
If you’re going to recognise one Moral Panics song it has got to be ‘February’. Featuring on their previous EP ‘Wlvs’, this was the song that initially got me into the band. It’s quite clever including this as the closing track to the new EP – despite a slight tweak in their sound that old flare and spark is still there and is burning brighter than ever. There’s always been something so raw and exposed about ‘February’, and that paired with the emblematic tune just allows you to escape for a few minutes.
It’s easy for bands to pigeonhole themselves with the same sound and influence being regurgitated over and over. The ones who excel are the ones who bring something new and exciting to the table, and for me this is why Moral Panics have always been the ones to watch. They have got everything spot on, and ‘Ataraxia’ is what they have to show for it. The sound is evolved and frankly quite mesmerising, and if that doesn’t persuade you to give it a listen I’m not sure what will.