Panico / Psicosis split CD

This is an amazing time capsule from mid-’80s Peru, joining the demos (and some live material) from two of Peru’s finest early hardcore bands. PANICO were a very short-lived band with a surprisingly sizeable legacy, as their 1985 demo tape inspired a great deal of bands to follow. Musically, it’s an alchemical soup of ur-hardcore, influenced by the likes of DISCHARGE, R.I.P., and IV REICH, played with a great deal more passion than technical ability, though the live tracks show that the band progressed a good deal in that regard in a short amount of time. Still, the demo recordings are all the better for the beginner’s mistakes that are left on tape. Unlike PANICO, PSICOSIS are in fact still around today, though they’ve matured a great deal since these first primitive recordings. Indeed, their stuff makes PANICO sound practically over-rehearsed, with a drummer who can just barely keep up (there’s a great moment where one track ends and he gives the crash cymbal a big hit, seemingly because he just realized he hadn’t touched it once through the actual song), but it is remarkable regardless, with the kind of manic, feral energy that you find in the early Italian stuff. The yelping, frantic vocals in particular are reminiscent of Zazzo/NEGAZIONE. The tunes are super short and simple, but delivered with remarkable intensity. The packaging is fairly sparse, but does feature an interview with the guitarist of PANICO and a brief history of PSICOSIS in Spanish. No matter how much or how little punk may speak to you in 2019, there is such a wealth of amazing reissues that one always has something fantastic to be introduced to. I am thankful for that.