Interesting news from Panda country: the psychedelic roots quintet known as Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, is planning to release a new studio album, Country, on January 31, 2012. But instead of the jammy roots-rock fans have grown to expect, the band has stated that this will be a “lyrically-driven roots Americana album.”
The album will feature instrumentation not normally heard on reggae albums including slide, guitar, banjo and harmonica, but the lyrics remain close to home with inspiration drawn from personal themes of love and distance along with political themes centered around the Occupy Movement.
On songs such as “Country” and “Kids In The Square,” James Searl explores elements of the social unrest and Occupy movements that have defined 2011. These emotions are evident when he sings “Time to get living is now / YouTube the moment try to teach us how / Run to the square with the people you know and you gotta get moving cause the movements been slow” from the new song “Kids In The Square”.
The album was recorded at Scanhope Sound by Joel Scanlon, the band’s longtime sound engineer, and mixed by Billy Hume (Nas, STS9, Ludacris).
Giant Panda, who was also nominated for Live Artist of the Year in our 2011 Pier Awards, will also be releasing a fully electric roots-reggae album titled In These Times on March 27, 2012. Both upcoming albums will be released under Controlled Substance Sound Labs.
Here are a few of the upcoming tour dates for Giant Panda…
Dec 30 @ Cervantes Other Side. Denver, CO
Dec 31 @ Cervantes Other Side. Denver, CO
Jan 06 @ Water Street Music Hall. Rochester, NY
Feb 09 @ Virginia Key GrassRoots Fest. Miami, FL
Article By: Chris Castro
Here’s a live 20min video of Giant Panda performing at this years GrassRoots Fest in NY.