A brand new classic-meets-alternative melodic rock enterprise from former Jane's Addiction trio
When they arrived on the scene in the mid-eighties Jane's Addiction quickly became one of the most hotly-pursued bands in LA, with their commercial breakthrough in 'Ritual de lo Habitual' in 1990 going gold in the top twenty; whatever way you look at it, trying to recreate the success of this flamboyant four-piece would be quite a feat... even if you do happen to have three of the four former members. Thankfully, The Panic Channel have clocked this too, and with Steve Isaacs' vocal making up the final piece of their musical jigsaw alongside former Jane's Addiction members Dave Navarro (guitar), Stephen Perkins (drums) and Chris Chaney (bass) set out simply to be themselves. But there's more to this group's collective musical backgrounds other than simply Jane's Addiction, namely Navarro's solo work and his time with Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Perkin's band Porno For Pyros (with former Jane's front man Perry Farrell) and Chaney's work alongside the likes of Alanis Morissette, Tommy Lee and Taylor Hawkins. Similarly, Panic Channel is a much more aggressive band than new talent Steve Issaacs is used to and in many ways he is completely different to any of the vocalists his new bandmates have worked with before. The result, therefore, is a brand new classic-meets-alternative melodic rock enterprise.
The opener 'Teahouse of the Spirits' is undoubtedly the best track on the album, bowling straight in with a frantic, driving riff while Steve Isaacs' vocals are at once powerful and soaring, yet convincingly emotive, with the kind of forceful and energetic alternative-rock sound that incites instant comparisons with Foo Fighters. There's a darker, more stomping classic rock grind to the much heavier 'Left To Lose', before the pace switches in the unsettling power-ballad 'Mary', wrapped up in drug-fuelled personal experiences.
It's little wonder that 'Why Cry' is the band's first single release, as it's a truly addictive soft-rock masterpiece, with an instantly loveable melody, while 'Awake', 'She Won't Last', 'Said You'd Be There' and 'Outsider' are all typical rock songs that seem familiar from the off and are immediately enjoyable. It's 'Blue Bruises' though that stands out, once again, for its meaningful melody and strong Foo Fighters overtones. Isaacs' multi-layered acapella (which he admits was heavily influenced by Brain Wilson's 'Smile') is not perhaps the punchy, guns-blazing finish you might have hoped for, but nevertheless it draws the album to a satisfying close and demonstrates their diverse influences and experiences as musicians.
Overall, 'ONe' is mainstream rock done to the highest standard by a band who (despite their name) clearly have nothing to panic about.