If you’ve wondered what Dylan Rowe from The Heathers is up to these days, you are going to want to check out Don’t Panic immediately. Together with Jeffrey Robens (vocals, guitars & programming) and Johannes Lar (bass), they have put together an interesting fusion of electronica and heavy rock that is completely engaging on this five-track EP. I missed their first EP last year, but I’m glad I’ve been able to catch up with their sophomore offering. I’ve listened to it a few dozen times and find it endlessly fascinating.
It walks a thin line between EDM and hard rock without sacrificing one for the other.
All the while, Rowe’s vocals are stunningly seductive at the center.
“Crush” is the opener and clearly the first single; it’s also a damn fine introduction to their sound. It definitely sets the tone for the entire record. Following in its wake, “Palisades” is far more complicated in its structure, and for that reason fascinating—filled with dense layers that will send your ears reeling. “Dark Matter” slows down the tempo and is almost hypnotic in its delivery.
It’s a dreamy combination of guitars and keys that crafts an atmospheric cocoon while you are lulled by its beauty.In the end, it explodes in time to blow your mind.
Within the context of the band, the strangeness of “Sleeper” is perfectly appropriate as they approach a prog rock sound with verve and style. Compositionally speaking, it’s one of the EP’s finest moments, as it builds into a terrific maelstrom across nearly five minutes. The grand finale is “I am, Moon,” which is a mini-masterpiece unto itself. It’s like a pocket symphony, with different movements throughout, summing up their sound in one last epic blast. A thoroughly fascinating and unique release.