MORAL PANIC - VALIDATION LP REP 152
It is rare that a self-proclaimed "punk" band can rock as hard as Moral Panic. This has been founder/frontman Daniel Kelley's cross to bear since the beginning. Kelley has been quoted in the past stating that his band was "too rock n' roll for the punks and too punk for the rock n' rollers." Middle fingers outstretched, he only leans further into this identity crisis on Validation and the results are thrilling. Recorded by Joe Hogan (Ronnie Spector, Murphy's Law) and mixed by Jeff Burke (of Radioactivity and The Marked Men), Validation lands somewhere between Dead Boys, The Who, and KISS, capturing Moral Panic at its best yet: on fire, in its own sphere, oblivious to trends. Kelley's gloriously cranked guitars gnash and flail; his dueling tracks spar gleefully like freshly unchained pit bulls at play. The new rhythm section of Michael Dimmitt and Eric Robel – a formidable unit who made their debut on the "White Knuckles" seven-inch – plows down the rails with the momentum of a runaway train in alpine terrain. Kelley states: "Our goal was to be a bit less lo-fi and get more of a big, loud, noisy, pissed sound! I don't really think that the influences have changed much, but the rhythm section is definitely stronger and has evolved the band into a bigger sound."
Highlights include the title track; "Hatchet," a song "about how much of a bummer it can be when it turns out your heroes are dicks"; and "Anti Anti Anti," a scorching cover of the song by original Phoenix punks The Consumers (whose guitarist Paul B. Cutler went on to form the more famous 45 Grave).
A West Coast native, Kelley founded Moral Panic after relocating to NYC. He reminisces: "I'm originally from Los Angeles and grew up going to punk shows in the LA and Orange County area. There was a time where I was seeing bands like TSOL and The Adolescents play every weekend. I went to college in San Francisco and immersed myself in the scene there. After that I felt the calling to go to New York, so I up and went, with one suitcase, a computer and my Gibson Les Paul." A week after arriving in New York in the spring of 2011, Kelley met New Bomb Turks frontman Eric Davidson and joined Davidson's brand new band Livids as a guitarist. Two years later, Livids imploded and Kelley immediately formed Moral Panic, taking over vocals in addition to guitar. In its first few years, Moral Panic released two albums and played shows with the likes of Night Birds, D.O.A., and The Dictators.
In late 2019, with a slew of bassists and drummers having entered and exited the fold, Kelley welcomed the new rhythm section of bassist Michael Dimmitt and drummer Eric Robel, a move which turned the band into an absolute killing machine but did nothing to please the purists; the new members' love for the noisier side of rock n' roll mixed majestically with Kelley's wild-eyed punk rock fury, making Moral Panic stronger than ever and tougher to pigeonhole.
Veterans of the NYC underground, Dimmitt and Robel have each lent their passion and prowess to a litany of bands, spanning punk, rock, and metal. Robel's many credits include The Heroine Sheiks, fronted by Cows wild man Shannon Selberg, and Born Loose, fronted by Larry May of The Candy Snatchers; Dimmitt has done time in Disassociate, Mutilation Rites, Overdose, and more.
"Classic punk... a success.” –Decibel Magazine
"Ripping punk rock with heavy rock n’ roll vibes.” –New Noise Magazine
"This is punk rock. Sure, it’s catchy, but it’s got this nervous energy that keeps the listener on edge. They keep up the pace for the entire record. This thing just shreds. At times I’m reminded of Dead Boys, only amped up a tad." –Maximumrocknroll
3) The Rail
4) Outta Gas
6) Big Fish
7) Anti Anti Anti
9) Horton Hears The Who
Daniel Kelley - vocals, guitar
Michael Dimmitt - bass
Eric Robel - drums
SPLIT LABEL RELEASE WITH ALIEN SNATCH!
300 PRESSED ON RANDOM COLORED VINYL