The surging monsoon heartbeats, heightened senses, cold sweats and the taptaptapping of nails on tabletop . . . the sudden feeling of uncontrollable emotion (Fear? Anger? Sadness?) bearing down like a prehistoric-sized hawk on a matted-down mouse– it’s hard to put a name to it, but it’s fucking there and we all feel it. More and more, we are feeling it daily. Our collective emotional health is best described as anxiety-ridden, the ways of dealing with it either cold and clinical prescription or rabid and unrestrained physical manifestation. We are panickers, each of us. At least, this is what Brent Asbury has decided to refer to his latest music project, which is meant to describe his own disquietude and that which emanates from it in the form of claps, beats, synths and ominous electronic distortion.
Beginning with a music career in San Diego which included stints as a cross-dressing dancer for Optiganally Yours, drummer for Thingy and Aspects of Physics, guitar in Goblin Cock, bass for Alpha Males and, simply, “everything” in schlag-schlag, Brent has experience in most musical areas and genres. Since his time in California, he took up producing and engineering at his current studio in Portland, OR– anything over the years from The Locust to Michael Bolton (edit: experience in ALL musical areas and genres).
Of course, then, it might be hard to imagine what his own dissonant brainchild might sound like today. The answer is, surely, none of the above– or at least, unlike any one conventional category. Asbury reluctantly describes Panicker as “an attempt to make pretty normal music–blending aspects of EBM, industrial, techno and hip hop with the intensity and heart of punk, metal, and horror films,” which is apt if not still slightly nebulous. Still, where genres may be remiss, the title, “PANICKER,” seems to serve well.