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At last, I've got my hands on this new album by Panic Room, one of my favourite bands. It's an essential purchase. You can hear extracts at the band's website http://www.panicroom.org.uk/music.html
and you can buy the album and its predecessors there.
This time around the music of Anne-Marie and the boys is enhanced by the addition of a string quartet. This adds a lush extra layer to the sound, while avoiding sounding like ELO! The album is also the first to feature the charismatic presence of new bassist Yatim Halimi. My favourite track just at the moment is "Chameleon" which is quite moody and haunting, with some excellent jazz shadings from guitarist Paul Davies. I am also particularly fond of the fat synth sound Jonathan Edwards gets on "Screens". It reminds me of the great Mick MacNeil of Simple Minds.
I can see this album selling well, as the band's product is now released through the Cherry Red group's new Esoteric Antenna imprint. It's the same label that has released the new Van Der Graaf Generator album "ALT", featured here in the review immediately below this one.
Panic Room are playing a few promotional dates in England and Italy. I'm not sure I can get to one of the shows, which is a shame. I see they are appearing at the Cambridge Rock Festival, as are Welsh rockers Sankara. Perhaps we'll get a more extensive Panic Room tour in the winter?
This album is available as a download and as a CD. The only downer for me with the CD version of the album is that it comes as a digipak. Apparently this is a "Limited Edition" and later copies will come in a standard "jewel case". Don't let this small disappointment put you off buying this outstanding release.