As long as there has been mainstream music there has been an alternative scene. Sadly “alt” sub genres have become as calculated and predictable as those they claim to provide the escape from. Alt-rockers in particular with their complicated hair and skinny, designer ripped jeans seem to be the biggest culprits. So the obvious conclusion is that we have to create an alternative to the alternative rock scene and if it does indeed exist then Polly Panic is its leading light.
The most alternative factor in her fabulous music is that the core sound is a cello, though classical aficionados will probably look on in horror as she shreds, torments and attacks it, summoning like a sonic shaman a sound that both rocks and haunts in equal measure from its wooden soul. References abound, P J Harvey’s bleak and angsty soundscapes, Tori Amos dark dreaming, Apocalyptica’s classical-rock attitudes, Tom Waits belligerence, but whilst you catch fleeting sights of those past glories, Polly Panic creates something totally her own, something wonderfully unique, where classical grunge meets baroque ’n’roll!
The title track rocks as hard as any of those aforementioned alt-rockers but it is also unpredictable, destructive, and aggressive in ways that they could only dream about. Making an impression isn’t just about volume and heavy chords and Polly Panic proves that you can make a bigger impact, or at least leave deeper sonic wounds, if you use jagged riffs, apocalyptic weight and shattered and fractious vocal deliveries. At the other extreme Purpose is the sound of dark dirge descending through the seven circles of hell and Beggar Rose is pure demonic vaudeville.
Polly Panic is a class act. She out rocks the rockers, is blacker than the metal fraternity, more nocturnal than the gothic set and is more alternative than even the most wayward of artists. Time to burn the guitars, form a choir of fallen angels and wait for the end of the world.