Track Of The Day: Panic Shack – ‘Meal Deal’

Arriving just in time for Christmas sandwich season, the latest single from Cardiff’s Panic Shack celebrates the humble meal deal. Much like a bag of fancy crisps, ‘Meal Deal’ is two and a half minutes of pure joy. The crunchy bass and frenetic drums give off a proper punk energy, while the band’s yelping vocals make for an instant earworm. It’s both energetic and effortless, kind of reminiscent of Amyl and the Sniffers (if Amyl and the Sniffers were Welsh and harboured a love of cheap sandwiches).

‘Meal Deal’ is a stupid amount of fun, but Panic Shack don’t shy away from sharing an important message. The chorus of “Feed me, I’m fucking hungry!” and lyrics that explore the realities of working in an undervalued, underpaid job are a painful reminder of how tough life is at the moment (as if any of us could forget). It’s political, but a proper party banger too.  

Panic Shack’s passion – and their rage – is infectious. Following the successful release of their sold-out debut EP, Baby Shack, and with acclaim from the likes of BBC 6Music’s Steve Lamacq, I can’t wait to see the band spread it even further over the coming months. We need them! 

Baby Shack, the latest EP from Panic Shack, is out now – order here. Catch Panic Shack live on their upcoming headline tour, or supporting faves Yard Act later this year. Details here.

Vic Conway

Photo Credit: Ren Faulkner

Track Of The Day: Panic Shack – ‘Mannequin Man’

Cardiff band Panic Shack describe their upcoming debut EP as “raw, honest and always chaotic”, and new single ‘Mannequin Man’ is the ideal track to showcase the band. Upbeat and fun throughout, it’s just under three minutes of pure joyous energy.

Every element of this track, from the sound to the aesthetic, has a camp ‘80s vibe. In the accompanying video, the band are dressed in leopard-print leotards and leg-warmers as they bounce around, as the music blends a simple drum beat with rolling bass and the kind of strings you can’t help but get stuck in your head.

The whole atmosphere is infectious – it’s impossible to watch the video and not feel the itch to bop along with it. Shot in front of a green screen, it is definitely to the band’s credit that they’ve managed to work around the limitations of a peak-pandemic release to create something so fun.

The lyrics specifically refer to one subject – the titular Mannequin Man – but are vague enough that it’s easy to project meaning into them. Lines like “Do you even feel? Do something! Show me you’re real!” feel like there is hidden depth within them. Perhaps the man in question is emotionally unavailable… Maybe he “better run as fast as you can” because the narrator has finally given up on a connection. So, I found it really fun to learn that the song is simply a reaction to the band meeting a man whose job to was to be a real-life mannequin. I like that this song has taught me that that is a job that exists. I have so many questions and I’m enjoying wondering how and why you might end up in that career. The song effortlessly captures the fun inherent in the idea and stays with you in the same delightful way.

Baby Shack, the debut EP from Panic Shack, is out on 8th April via Brace Yourself Records. Pre-order here.

Kirstie Summers

Photo Credit: Ren Faulkner