Review

Ja, Panik

Don’t Play With The Rich Kids

Bureau B • 2024

It takes exactly one minute for the distorted guitars on the opening track »Lost« to kick in—and then set the tone for a good 50 minutes. After the experimental pop on their last album, _»Die Gruppe«_, _**»Don’t Play With The Rich Kids«**_ is a driving, almost classic, high-energy rock album. The sound suits the four exiled Viennese very well while harking back to their beginnings at the same time, when they also attracted attention with screeching guitars and Andreas Spechtl’s unmistakable Denglish on »The Taste And The Money« and a year later on »The Angst And The Money«. What **Ja, Panik** didn’t have to rediscover, because it never went away, is the attitude in their lyrics: the nihilistic will to self-destruction (»We shit on death and his friends tonight»), the anger against the prevalent state, the reflection on one’s own privileges and also the pleasure found in ambivalence. Surprisingly, the band sound more conciliatory in the second half of the album, especially on the anthemic »Fascism Is Invisible (Why Not You?)» and the closer »Ushuaia«, which jams along for almost 12 minutes in the best Crazy Horse style. Will everything be okay in the end?!?