Like anything that is truly unique, the music of Panic & The Rebel Emergency is, at a first listen, difficult to place. It does not fit neatly into a mold, but neither do the members of this innovative new band. Their improbable beginnings as a group do much to explain their singular style of music.
While looking for a studio to record an alternative rock demo, the band Rebel Emergency; RoddySoul, Geoff, Bucci, AdamH. and Evan who earned their chops on the Toronto rock scene; got a link to the infamous John Shop studio in the Bronx, New York where Panic was working as an artist/producer and engineer.
Late one night during the wrap up for Rebel Emergency's last Bronx recording session, Panic and the band decided to write a song together. The thought of combining two very different musical styles was an interesting idea that all six musicians were eager to try. After what everyone describes as "five minutes of raw vibe", they had written a rough version of their first song, "I Wanna Know". The band then worked through the night and by 10 AM they emerged from the studio with a complete version of "I Wanna Know." From that day on it was apparent that fate seemed to be driving the creation of Panic & The Rebel Emergency.
Since that first recording session, Panic & the Rebels have teamed up with acclaimed Grammy award winning producer and engineer "Commissioner" Gordon Williams; who has worked on "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" and the Bob Marley tribute album, "Chant Down Babylon" among others; to help them create the balance between Rod's soulful singing, Panic's capturing charisma and the brilliant backing sounds of lead guitarist Geoff, rhythm guitarist AdamH., bass player Bucci, and last but not least, drummer Evan.
The members of the band are convinced that they are fulfilling some sort of destiny. Their collaboration is not merely an attempt to have a dancehall "DJ" sing over reggae influenced rock music, but they have set out to and succeeded in creating a new organic sound drawing from a rich well of rock and reggae inspiration.
After a colorful and grueling year of New York recording sessions with Producer "Commissioner" Gordon, Panic & The Rebel Emergency had finished writing and recording their debut album "Captured By A Vision". The album is an eclectic mix of Rock, Reggae, Dancehall and Ska that is undeniable in its energy and originality.
In addition to their Jamaican and Canadian roots, during the recording process the band found themselves moving from the Bronx to Manhattan, then Brooklyn, then New Jersey, then Queens, then LA and Miami, then back to the Bronx and finally resting again in Manhattan. And this constant movement and discovery translates beautifully on the 14 tracks that comprise "Captured By A Vision".
Nearly every track was born in a different place and each has an interesting and unique story of its conception. There were no boundaries or rules on the songwriting. For example, the track "Wander far away" was written on a rooftop in Manhattan on a clear night, "Walk on by" was written in a sweltering room barely big enough to fit the band, and "China Doll" was written in a Brooklyn flat after an intense night of partying.
The album uses inspirational lyrics to deliver important messages on a wide range of topics. There are stories of death and betrayal, tales of a sex-based relationship, songs about the bond between a parent and child, songs about self-confidence, and stories about the road of life. The overall feel and message of the album is an affirmative one, full of careful but assured optimism.
Completing the powerful force that is Panic & The Rebel Emergency is an incredibly high energy live show. The band prides itself on it ability to perform in front of any crowd. Weather its a tough Jamaican crowd in Kingston or a laid back audience in LA or even progressive New York and Toronto fans, the band is devoted to the audience and are a very hard act to follow.
After receiving offers from several major labels, Panic & The Rebel Emergency have decided to team with independent label Trakk Factory Entertainment in order to grow the band in a more nurturing and innovative environment. In the process they are not only looking to further their own careers solely as a band, but also have begun to put time into the studio as songwriters and producers for a wide range of American, Canadian and Jamaican artists.
The partnership of Trakk Factory and Panic & the Rebel Emergency has been an integral part of the band's progress thus far and they are looking not just to make hit records, but also spearhead a distinctive stylistic movement within the already burgeoning rock/reggae movement.