Panic Volcanic: Fuzz Freaks

21
Posted July 3, 2013 by HEARSAY in Music
Not since The Hammers of Misfortune has Fort Worth seen a female-fronted hard rock act. Enter: Panic Volcanic.Not since The Hammers of Misfortune has Fort Worth seen a female-fronted hard rock act. Enter: Panic Volcanic.

You gotta admit. Most chick-fronted hard rock outfits seem a little –– how you say? –– off. The testosterone manifest in the genre’s loud rifferama and pounding beats doesn’t jibe with the femininity coming through the mic. There are exceptions, of course, but for the most part, hard rock and chick singers just don’t mix.

Panic Volcanic is a thunderous female-fronted trio that occasionally falls into some of the same traps that afflict similar bands –– namely, blues-hammering Pat Benatar-isms –– but is just outré enough to qualify as an exception. (The last local female-fronted hard rock band that I can remember is the awesome, awesomely named, and long-since defunct Hammers of Misfortune.)

Co-founded by Ansley Dougherty and bassist Zach Tucker, bassist/vocalist for Sonic Buffalo and drummer for The Frisky Disco, and with Chris Cole on drums, Panic Volcanic is loud, heavy, and prone to delicious circuitous structures.. Formed in 2011, the guitar-less trio has just released its debut album. Recorded this winter with Fort Worth producer Ben Napier, Freak Fuzz is rife with chunky, metallic riffage –– Tucker’s fuzzed-out, trebly bass sounds pretty much like a guitar –– and belting Dougherty’s voice is low in the mix, giving the album an underground, DIY feel. Flashy metal, this is not.

Panic Volcanic is hungry and is part of the equally hungry record label and collective Euphio Productions. Lo-Life Recordings and Dreamy Soundz may get all the press –– and deservedly so –– but the youth-driven Euphio may be the most ambitious and productive bunch around. Euphio members the Disco, Animal Spirit, and The Breakfast Machine work their butts off. And they’re all really good. Add Panic Volcanic to the list. The band’s live energy is neatly encapsulated on Freak Fuzz, whose generous, expansive-sounding vibe, Dougherty said, owes to producer Napier: “We decided to go with Ben because we had seen him often running sound for bars, and since our sound is so rooted in our live performance, we knew Ben could really help us translate the sound from the stage to the studio.”

Panic Volcanic will celebrate the release of Freak Fuzz on Saturday at Queen City Music Hall (425 Commerce St., 817-332-4030) with The Frisky Disco and Animal Spirit.

 

Music Awards Winners

Well, folks. We’ve counted the thousands upon thousands of ballots in our 16th Annual Music Awards, and we have our winners. We’re going to announce them on Sunday at The Panthys –– that’s what we call our ceremony, The Panthys, like The Grammys but with a Panther City twist. (Plus, the trophy itself is a growling black panther’s head.) Follow @FortWorthWeekly and regularly check facebook.com/FortWorthWeekly for news about a planned after-party to which you all will be invited free of charge. Yes, live music will be involved. And probably some bad dancing too.

 

Contact HearSay at hearsay@fwweekly.com.


21 Comments


  1.  
    charles cook

    “You gotta admit. Most chick-fronted hard rock outfits seem a little –– how you say? –– off. The testosterone manifest in the genre’s loud rifferama and pounding beats doesn’t jibe with the femininity coming through the mic. There are exceptions, of course, but for the most part, hard rock and chick singers just don’t mix.”
    That is as stupid sexist bullshit as i’ve ever, and i’ve read a lot of it, too much of it in Hearsay. Jesus Christ. And this guy is music editor for a city with a music scene full of badass women, including a BUNCH fronting hard rock bands?!? Ruh-oh. Bad news.




    •  
      Ginger Rocker

      “hard rock and chick singers just don’t mix.” Anthony, your sexist opinions are asinine! And your lack of knowledge about music really shines thru your articles. Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, Memphis Memphis were way ahead of men. And even though it wasn’t hard rock, blues was the predecessor to hard rock. Just ask Led Zep. These women laid the foundation for Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, & other hard rock bands. I am sure you probably haven’t even heard Panic Volcanic. Your descriptions of bands in the FWW Music Awards flyer were ridiculous and an injustice to the bands that played….obvious you write about bands you have never even heard! How do you get away with such stupidity & sexism? Are you married to your boss? I hope the badass fw chick fronted bands that you have never heard don’t kick your ass!




  2.  
    RJ

    “for the most part, hard rock and chick singers just don’t mix.”

    That’s such a ridiculous statement I literally have to stab myself in the leg just to feel something again after reading it.

    Sleater-Kinney
    Helium
    Wild Flag
    Bikini Kill
    Bratmobile
    Ida Maria
    The Butchies
    The Donnas
    etc. etc. etc. etc.




  3.  
    Laura

    After living in more evolved cities like New York, reading this article reminds me of how I was always ashamed of the stereotypical Caveman mentality many east coasters associate with Texas, and the embarrassment of knowing it is true.




    •  
      Elle Hurley

      Yeah Im from the East Coast and your right that is what we think…and this tripe just confirms it. Ansley and her crew deserve much more then a backhanded sexist comment. There is a plethora of amazing female ROCKER musicians in the DFW area who constantly have to battle bullshit like this, now we have to fight for non sexist remarks from people who write in alternative rags too? I dont know how many times i have had to growl at some neanderthal soundguy when he tells me to “load my boyfriends gear in the corner”. Now it seems we have to remind this asshole that he is out of line as well. Way to step back a decade or two douchbag… oh And Hammers of Misfortune isnt defunct you twat they are very much still playing, infact they are currently on tour and just recently signed to a major lable. Just because Jamie isnt in the band doesnt mean they broke up….fire your fact checker or pay me next time you need to get your shit straight . You clearly need a woman to do your job for you.




  4.  
    Robert Standlee

    Wow. I never have wanted to be spoken of at all in the FWWeekly and now I am glad I haven’t been. I hope I never am. When I see people pandering your rag for some kind of award I am AMAZED at the question WHY? People who write for this rag obviously know nothing about music or being a musician and I am proud to say I have never made a point of reading the FWWeekly for this reason. I have met Ansley and I have seen her perform and she rocks and her band rocks. She has one of the most powerful voices I have ever heard for someone in her age group (tweens). Her band is also spot on with the heavy power trio music they perform. Whoever it is that wrote this BS about Ansley and her band must know absolutely nothing about how HARD it is to even play the most elementary rock and roll. Panic Volcanic plays very intricate and complicated music that is much like The Dead Weather who also sport a female singer, and Ansley’s voice rivals that of Janis Joplin. If I were to say who had the biggest balls….the writer of this article or Ansley….Ansley wins.




  5.  
    Chuck U Farley

    Now see what you have gone and done? The world already thinks we are a bunch of back woods single toothed rednecks and you have to go and write something like this that the rest of the world well see one day after Panic takes over the world. Who wrote this crap anyway? Why do I not see the author name? Are you in hiding from the ‘chick singers’ that want to kick your ass? The weekly can do better then this. Kick this asshole to the curb.




  6.  
    KelRox

    Wow. So disrespectful. Who is this douche writing this? I’m a musician and have been in quite a few bands. Yes, I am a woman too. Founder of Fort Wizard Productions and currently play bass and backing vocals in my band Meat Hawke. Elle Hurley is my female vocalist.
    As far as I’m concerned, I will not support FW Weekly anymore because of this sexist, ignoramus.




  7.  
    Anthony

    Now that I read it back, yes, my opinion does seem sexist. I really meant no harm, and I’m sorry for offending anyone. I was just trying to say that Panic Volcanic is exceptional. I’m fully aware of the fact that women are still not equal in society, and I feel bad for perpetuating that dreadfulness. I’ll write an apology next week. Thanks for reading and writing.




    •  
      charles cook

      Thank you for the acknowledgment of how this sounded. And I will first the first in line to thank you and commend you for a real apology. We know you show great personal respect to the women and men you meet on the scene. The only issue is how you treat them in print. PLEASE make sure you acknowledge this is not a first time offense. So many examples, the disturbing ones are the ones that could point to problems for local bands seeking coverage from the Weekly. In saying last year you were looking for new band because Metric’s appearance wasn’t what you expected, including a hot chick, you were admitting you’d pass a band by because of their appearance. In this you seem to admit that when you listen to a woman singer, all you hear is her “femininity” coming through the mic, not her drive, her passion, her hellfire, her lifetime of work training her voice, her lyrical brilliance – wow, you’re missing so much! (And your claim that there hasn’t been a local hard rock band fronted by a woman for years shows you are also missing so many!) The women in this scene deserve to know they can send stuff to the biggest alternative weekly in town and not have it judged or ignored on trivialities like their appearance or whether they’re transgressing into male-only territory (which does not exist in rock’n'roll).




  8.  
    Ken Horchow

    Wow, most female hard rock bands with female vocalists seem off? This is coming from a music writer for a lifestyle newspaper? Maybe the dumbest statement in the history of rock journalism – and that is saying a lot, as rock journalism (i.e. Rolling Stone being the worst of the bunch) seems to more interested in all things hipster as opposed to good. Now some of the concepts are as inept as this article was when talking about female front hard rock. Let’s really look at what has emerged as female fronted heavy rock in the past 10 years. Here is your writers history lesson: If we go way back, you have what may be the god mother of all female fronted heavy rock bands, Coven. Underground, but hugely influential. Fast forward and in the modern age you have underground icons Warhorse on the Southern Lord label. Out of that well-spring some of the greatest bands on the planet and currently active have emerged: Blood Ceremony (maybe one of the best active hard rock bands on the planet and the new album The Eldritch Dark is a classic), Witch Mountain, Mount Salem, Purson, and several others that I don’t have time to mention. So, Mr. rock journalist want to be – do some homework, keep ignorant and uninformed comments to yourself, and actually, you probably should resign as you just suck. Shame on you Fort Worth Weekly. Send this writer over to work for the guy who owns the Ridglea Theater, another idiot when it comes to hard rock.




    •  
      charles cook

      Thanks Ken for the history & the bands i can go check out now. I’m into punk & indie & when i started going to metal shows i was shocked when i saw how many more women were in metal bands than in the bands i was seeing. (Altho luckily the numbers are going way up in the other genres now too.) To say women and any genre of music don’t mix is bizarre, but metal and hard rock is probably the one where there are the most female singers. And metal crowds give them mad respect.




  9.  

    Thanks for the write up. It was our first major press. Despite the ensuing controversy, I’m very proud of it.




    •  
      charles cook

      Actually Casey Mack of Fort Live did a great review of Panic Volcanic just before this one. And he didn’t have to fill it with bizarre sexist assertions, and he didn’t throw out backhanded “compliments” like saying PV only slipped into “Pat Benetar” trap of sounding like all the other sorry women in rock bands every once in a while.
      I am very sorry to rain on the positive coverage you got. But i wouldn’t have done it if AM hadn’t decided to piss all over everyone else at the same time.




  10.  
    Jeez

    Charles, reread the apology. Dude, you are going nuts. Slow down because now you are throwing everything that this guy says out with the bathwater. Easy does it fella. I think he regrets what he said, but calling him out after all he has done for our music scene is pretty odd don’t you think?




    •  
      charles cook

      Jeez, reread the comments besides mine. Anybody who’s not nuts is going nuts! And the apology was a Paula Deen apology, “My opinion does seem sexist.” NO, it doesn’t SEEM sexist, saying woman “don’t mix” with ANY art form is the DEFINITION of sexist. (Just like saying “men don’t mix with ____” would be.) And his other responses since the article have made it clear he is not offering a real apology, he’s only going to say he should have worded it better. Bollocks! He does this ALL THE TIME. Last year he admitted he gave up on a non-local band because they didn’t fit his fantasy of what they’d look like, including super hot chick. He ain’t apologizing for that either. If he regretted it, he’d stop doing it. But he won’t. It is absolutely going to continue if someone at the Weekly doesn’t stop it.
      And as far as “all he’s done for the scene,” any and every editor of the FW Weekly does a lot for the scene, that’s what they are paid to do. IMO he has done much less than the other editors. He is the 1st Weekly music editor EVER to not cover all the great bands from all over the world who play here, he won’t even cover the Dallas & Denton ones! And, unforgivably in a scene with so many talented and wonderful women, he has turned the Weekly music section into a place where the most outrageous sexist assertions, like “hard rock and chick singers don’t mix” are presented as universal truths (as he started with “You’ve got to admit…”) And a place where the appearance of female bands too often seems to be the main focus. This is NOT a one-time thing, it is an ongoing problem.
      This shit is foul, with a capital FOUL, it has to change.




  11.  
    Ginger Rocker

    “hard rock and chick singers just don’t mix.” Anthony, your sexist opinions are asinine! And your lack of knowledge about music really shines thru your articles. Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, Memphis Memphis were way ahead of men. And even though it wasn’t hard rock, blues was the predecessor to hard rock. Just ask Led Zep. These women laid the foundation for Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, & other hard rock bands. I am sure you probably haven’t even heard Panic Volcanic. Your descriptions of bands in the FWW Music Awards flyer were ridiculous and an injustice to the bands that played….obvious you write about bands you have never even heard! How do you get away with such stupidity & sexism? Are you married to your boss? I hope the badass fw chick fronted bands that you have never heard don’t kick your ass!




  12.  
    Fox McCloud

    If you want to show your support for Panic Volcanic, go to their album release tonight and buy an album. Shake their hands and tell them to keep doing what they’re doing because they deserve mad respect.




  13.  
    Anthony

    I think there’s some spam in the comments section, but here’s the apology. Thanks for reading and writing.

    http://www.fwweekly.com/2013/07/06/an-apology-holy-moly-in-wsj-music-awards-after-party/





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