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

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Gualberto - Sin Comentario – Spanish guitarist Gualberto Garcia Perez offers up an instrumental album "without commentary" and lets the music do the talking. Gualberto first came into prominence with the group Smash,...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues