Attack. Don’t Panicby Roger Young / 16.11.2009
On “Blind”, the opening track of Voodoo Child’s Attack. Don’t Panic so many rock clichés are employed that it’s hard to tell if they are being serious or not. Halfway through the album it becomes clear that they are, lovingly so. Voodoo Child come across as a strange mix of 60’s psychedelic rock and 80’s metal power ballads complete with strings and spiraling Hendrix-lite guitars and chugging bass. Strangely sometimes it actually works.
In much the same way that KIDOFDOOM’s sound is made for stadiums and air-punching, Voodoo Child’s sound custom made for lighters and air-guitars, and although the two bands are musically very different, there is a definite kinship in the rolling nature and psychedelic attitude of the music.
Attack. Don’t Panic mixes harmonies, ska, rap, brass, tingling guitars, driving rhythms with aural attack. It is at times relentless; the lesser tracks such as “Kick My Shin” are repeats of musical ideas done much better elsewhere on the album. But what is striking about Attack. Don’t Panic is its naïve and unaffected manner, its lack of pretension.
“Megalomaniac Attack” is walls of guitar and keys, sprinkled with rap and power singing, stylistically Voodoo Child almost own all of these elements, so very almost, but there is a vague sense of borrowing that haunts most of the album. Never though does it feels they are borrowing for the sake it, rather Voodoo Child seem as if they are exploring influences on the way to defining their own sound. For those uninitiated in similar sounding bands from yesteryear Voodoo Child may come across as a revelation, but to my ears there is nothing original about the album. What does come across fully is the sense that they are open to growth, wide eyed innocent and enthusiastic, that and the fact that that they know how to rock.
“Tearing Us Apart” is the earnest ballad and it shows VC’s weaknesses, when in rock out bluster mode they kill with an avalanche of sound, and in this “slow” track’s lost moments the production throws noise at a weak hook, “Child Of The Sun” is a far better attempt at the same pace, even though the Lenny Kravitz influence sometimes overwhelms it. From the semi Chili Pepper influenced funk rock bits on “Do It To Me” to the one of the tracks that they fully command, “Hey Boi” Voodoo Child never relent from rocking out at an exhaustive pace, this may be the albums real fault, it comes across, at times, as repetitive and relentless. There is little breathing room, although the production itself is clean. Many of Voodoo Child’s songs are solid crowd pleasing rockers in their own right and it is these tracks that their future may lie, because while “Attack. Don’t Panic” is a solid album, but it does leave room for improvement and Voodoo Child often illustrate that there is a real promise of that improvement, because when on tracks such as “Permission” they own their sound, they fully own it.