Panic Is Perfect is a highly-polished indie pop group based in San Francisco, but first conceived in India by its well-traveled founders Jeremy Belzer and Mike Hoffman. The two multi-instrumentalists, joined by guitarist David Monzon, keyboardist Joey Hassid and drummer Ty Parker, performed at The Satellite last week, sparking enthusiastic dancing from the crowd.
At first listen, their music sounds like Passion Pit meets All American Rejects, with a bit of Death Cab for Cutie thrown in, but the songs feature some syncopation and interesting rhythms. Hoffman, who sang, played guitar and also played an extra drum, actually studied tribal drumming with a master drummer in Ghana. Belzer also sang and played a second synthesizer and tambourine. The music was as tight as a recording, to the point where I was briefly confused by an invisible female vocal – a sample from the single “Go Go Go” on their new album Cellspace, out now on Strange Loop Records.
The five guys appeared positively gleeful onstage, grinning ear to ear and bopping around, and their energy was certainly contagious. On the album, streaming here, “Too Up Close” is probably the strongest track, blending different electronic beats on the uplifting chorus, with the catchy, synth-pop song “Glow” coming in second.
Photo by Simone Snaith for the LA Beat