Exposé Online banner

Panic Room — Visionary Position
(Firefly FMCD001, 2008, CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2008-10-01

Visionary Position Cover art

Panic Room is a new Welsh group featuring members from Karnataka, Mostly Autumn, and Fish’s band: Paul Davies (guitars), Jonathan Edwards (keys), Anne-Marie Helder (vocals), Gavin John Griffiths (drums), and Alun Vaughn (bass), plus guest musicians Liz Prendergast (electric violin) and Gary Phillips (nylon guitar). The music has definite progressive elements, but there are noticeable pop, Celtic, and jazz influences as well. The interplay of the guitars, keyboards, and percussion is superb. These guys know their business and can really rock. Sadly though, Anne-Marie is not up to the task; her voice only invokes pale comparisons to Kate Bush, Natalie Imbruglia, Lisa Gerrard, Loreena McKennitt, Sandy Denny, and/or Linda Ronstadt. Her uneven vocals work better when she sings alto, which does not happen enough on this disc. Her voice simply does not have the tonal quality to sing soprano like Loreena, Linda, or even Dolly Parton can. On “Elektra City,” “Endgame,” and the excellent “Apocalypstick,” Anne-Marie and the band are outstanding and she soars. But on “Firefly,” “Reborn,” and most especially the ballad “Moon on the Water,” it sounds like Anne-Marie is holding back and verging on Joanna Newsome’s annoying little-girlish style of singing. It is difficult to get excited about this band; there are so many other groups recording better music these days. Overall, Visionary Position is all right, but not something I would choose to listen to more than once or twice.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 36, 2008 releases

Related artist(s): Panic Room

Latest news

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

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


Previously in Exposé...

Iona - Iona DVD & Live in London DVD – Celtic prog band Iona are back in a big way, not only with their recent studio release, The Circling Hour, but also with two new DVDs. This is a great set both for fans and those new to the band as it...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues