Punk rock is passé for Panthers. The Brooklyn quartet swung that style of chin music on their first full-length, 2002's Are You Down??, which was a crooked set of hardcore and post-punk. It was a brainy sound with roots in Orchid, the group that three-fourths of Panthers used to be in.
But old-timers know that anti-establishment music is a young person's racket. With age and experience comes a need to just crank out the tunes you love -- and in Panthers' case, it's numskull stoner rock. The Trick, the group's latest (and second for Vice/ Atlantic) sees the band fully embracing an affection for fun, melodic riffs à la Queens of the Stone Age. Cheeky, neoclassic rock anthems like "Goblin City" and "Hey Creep" supplant the caustic, angular art rock heard on previous releases. So yeah, treating its punk rock demons to a 10-pack of beer-soaked sing-alongs is a refreshing change for this group.