Review: Panther Attack – ‘Sharp Moments’ (Self-Released)

Posted: June 3, 2011 in Reviews
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Think of Seattle and you’ll recall rain, coffee, Cobain, Hendrix and Frasier Crane, not frenzied instrumental rock. But, along with You.May.Die.In.The.Desert, Panther Attack are redressing the balance. If you missed their self-financed debut ‘Martyr Bonus’ then you should really do yourself a favour and check this band out pronto, they’re incredible. Built on a solid, and expert, rhythm section, Panther Attack’s twin guitar attack usually finds them lumped in with the Math Rock crowd. In all reality, they are simply a Prog band and a modern one at that. There’s no room for Wakeman-sized pretension here though. The Panthers only deal in musicianship and once again it’s super tight and mightily impressive.

‘Beige Blades’ bursts into life before exploring Jazz climes, with the guitar interplay a joy to behold particularly during the smooth Santana-esque licks. ‘Espionage a Trois’ comes across like a harder edged Tortoise with the incessant circular guitar pattern hammering home this point. Elsewhere, there’s a distinct reggae influence on ‘Water and Metal’, with the guitar part, reminiscent of Andy Summers, built around squelching bass and ridiculously skillful percussion. While the final few minutes of ‘Promethesus’ will have you staring at your stereo in disbelief – can a band really be as tight as that?

Without the bass and drum template, though, such guitar fireworks would be rendered useless. It may be an obvious statement, but both are crucial to the overall structure of Panther Attack’s sound, especially given the ferocity of the complex time signatures and unexpected drum fills that push The Panthers in all sorts of different tangents.

It would appear this quartet is still financing their own records, which is quite a shame. Given the success of Battles, Foals and Youthmovies, a label ought to take a punt on this band, especially with the music buying public’s thirst for such bands with impeccable instrumentation and quirky sounds at an all-time high. Though ‘Math-Rock’s’ sterility can often leave one feeling cold, with its focus of precision over melody, this is not a problem for Panther Attack who effortlessly construct a vibrant and impassioned sound. Though it must be pointed out that an album length record is needed to fully appreciate the complexities of this outfit.

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