Exposé Online banner

Panic Room — Incarnate
(Firefly FFMCD006, 2014, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2014-04-30

Incarnate Cover artA band with an impressive roster of musicians, all with impeccable pedigrees, having served in some of the most refined and talented British bands of the 90s, it’s no wonder that Panic Room has carved out their own sound that is at once a mix of driving rock and power pop, informed by a strong progressive rock foundation and the subtle influences of folk and Celtic, and with this latest release now an occasional touch of the blues as well. On this, their fourth album, the compositions and arrangements are persuasive and catchy, with memorable arrangements, most written by lead singer and guitarist Anne Marie Helder and keyboardist Jonathan Edwards. Since I last heard the band on their second album Satellite, there have been a couple personnel changes, with original bassist Alun Vaughan now replaced by Yatim Halimi, and Adam O’Sullivan taking over lead guitar duties from Paul Davies, though with Helder and Edwards penning most of the material, their trajectory hasn’t changed that much other than in the arrangements perhaps. Halimi and drummer Gavin John Griffiths are the perfect rhythm section for the music at hand, completely supportive of the highly melodic material, and not drawing a lot of attention to themselves, but able to elaborate a tasty framework for the songs to exist within. Helder’s voice is clear, controlled, soulful, and imminently beautiful, without being too pretty – vaguely reminiscent of Kate Bush but without all the breath and exaggeration. Two of the album’s standouts are “Lead Me into Temptation” where the power-prog factor is high and the instrumentalists provide a rich atmosphere for Helder’s voice and heartfelt lyrics to shine within, and the instantly likeable and vaguely Supertrampish “Waterfall,” with its repeating electric piano figures and jangly guitars. With Incarnate, Panic Room has further refined and defined their vision, topping all their previous efforts.

Filed under: New releases, 2014 releases

Related artist(s): Panic Room

Latest news

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Oysterband - Here I Stand – Oysterband (originally The Oyster Band) has been making music in their own unique and developing style for more than a decade. I would hesitate to call them a post-punk equivalent of Fairport...  (2000) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues