Following KARNATAKA's 2003 release, 'Delicate Flame of Desire', Jonathan EDWARDS (keyboards), Paul DAVIS (guitar) and Gavin GRIFFITHS (drums; MOSTLY AUTUMN, FISH) elected to break away and form PANIC ROOM, with Anne-Marie HELDER (vocals, guitar, flute; MOSTLY AUTUMN) who had been brought in to perform backing vocals on the album. Alan VAUGHAN (bass), who completed the line-up, joined them shortly afterwards.
Explaining the missive behind their debut album, 2008's ' Visionary Position ', Jonathan EDWARDS (principle co-writer, along with Anne-Marie) says ".we really wanted to explore all the different kinds of music that turn us on and make something fresh and original. Because of the common background in KARNATAKA that Anne, Paul, Gavin and myself shared it was inevitable that some elements of our musical past would resurface in PANIC ROOM's music, but there are so many other influences and elements coming through as well."
Indeed, while setting their music against a background, which may best be described as 'Crossover Prog', their music also undoubtedly incorporates mainstream rock, acoustic ('Moon On The Water'), ambient sound-scapes ('The Dreaming') folk, jazz and even eastern influences ('Apocalypstick'), in order to expand their ever-growing palette of sound. This 'eclectic' scope is similarly reflected in their lyrics, principally penned by Anne-Marie, who explores "futuristic dsytopian sci-fi worlds and 'Arabian Night' fantasies as well as achingly honest love songs". Such tracks serve as vehicles for the diverse, richly emotive and wide ranging singing styles mastered by Anne-Marie, whom the writer feels to be one of the most accomplished on the present UK progressive circuit.
Naturally, PANIC ROOM stem from the 'new wave' of female fronted, progressively influenced bands within the UK scene, which had been initiated by MOSTLY AUTUMN and KARNATAKA, during the late '90s. Although PANIC ROOM's music stands to one side as being a little more diverse than others within their 'stable', fans of the above bands, beside those of MAGENTA, THE REASONING and the present European Neo-Progressive scene, should find much of interest here.