Charles Rojas (vocals/bass/guitar), Keith Drago (drums) and Jose Flores (guitar) are Panning View. The three-piece band has been around for about a year and recently released their EP Centerpiece. Centerpiece is an impressive six-song debut that mixes like-minded genres such as rock, punk and hardcore while sounding not too far off from bands like Title Fight, Thrice and even NOFX.
The band is extremely tight and in the pocket which is one of the first things I noticed and really one of the most essentially things when you play this type of music. Even if you’re not a huge fan of the genre you have to respect the talent and skill these guys bring to the table.
Things start off right out of the gate with “Addresser.” The band trades riffs like they are going out of style and it will appease those who even have extreme cases of ADD. A little past a minute in and the band is already on their first breakdown. “Addresser” seems to be about a crash. Rojas sings, “Did you forget / About the stitches in your forehead / That I drove with you / Passenger side to get / I waited with you / Missing the Thursday set / But that was alright / You were more important to me.”
“Fold” starts with an intense, fast drumbeat before the rest of the band comes in to melt your brain. Waves of white distortion take over the song along with some infectious vocals. Rojas’ vocal style reminded me more of ‘90s punk bands like NOFX and Rancid rather than the contemporary nasally twine of most pop punk.
The band has more success on “Better Yourself” which displays some more versatility. There are some very impressive transitions on this, which is a testament to the bands technical skills. The fast paced “Kauai” does indeed seem to be about the Hawaiian Island while the closer “Six Years Since” is a dynamic song that goes from soft clean parts to intense thrashing.
Panning View is a solid, tight EP that has some well-written songs and also displays a boatload of potential. The fact that these guys have only been around a year is reason enough you should keep your eyes and ears on them.
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