By: Emily Zemler
The Panic Division’s original incarnation was a dark instrumental band called Carbon 12 Theory, a moniker truly befitting an Ozzfest second-stage staple. After determining that his band necessitated a dramatic change, Colton Holliday began to shift the group’s sound towards ’80s-influenced electronic rock that better befitted his musical sensibilities, one loaded with the moody hooks and synth loops that now form the basis of the Panic Division’s Versus.
Named for Holliday’s panic disorder, the band now boasts a completely different lineup (with Holliday as the sole original member) and a record deal with an indie label that is happily stepping outside its comfort zone with this release. While Bloc Party draws cues from the jagged post-punk of Gang of Four and Interpol evokes the emotional chaos of Joy Division, Panic has more pop savvy, in the vein of INXS and Depeche Mode. But rather than building songs from the ground up like most bands, Panic begins by creating an electronic loop and then writing the song over it, adding a heavy texture to what might normally be just another moody rock song.
Pulsating tracks like “Goodbyes” employ a deft combination of carefully looped beats and Holliday’s aching cries that helps Panic avoid sounding like a rehash of INXS by lacing the sounds of the past with modern pop rock sensibilities. All of it seems like a far cry from the days of Carbon 12 Theory.
Panic Division tour dates:
11/2, Nashville, TN (The Muse) 11/3, Dover, DE (Calvary Assembly of God)11/4, Fredricksburg, VA (KC’s Music Alley)11/5, Lyndhurst, NJ (Knights of Columbus)11/6, Bath, PA (Brenda and Jerry’s Music and Sound)11/8, Bradford, PA (Grace Luthern Memorial Church)11/9, New York, NY (CB’s Gallery)11/10, Patchogue, NY (The Oasis)11/12, Revere, MA (Club Lido)11/13, Akron, OH (Orange Street)11/14, Southgate, MI (The Modern Exchange)11/15, Sterling, IL (Latin American Social Center)11/17, Baltimore, MD (Sonar)11/18, Richmond, VA (Alley Katz)11/19, Raleigh, NC (The Brewery)11/20, Virginia Beach, VA (Peppermint Beach Club)11/21, Myrtle Beach, SC (The Social)11/22, Kingsport, TN (The Fire Escape)11/23, Augusta, GA (Sector 7G)11/25, Tampa, FL (The Brass Mug)11/26, Orlando, FL (The Backbooth)12/3, McAllen, TX (Nikki Rowe VFW)