Panic Room’s album, which they will be recording in January and February is slated for an early Summer release, while The Reasoning’s is due in November.
Both bands have put in a lot of hard word slogging round what is euphemistically known as “The toilet circuit”, steadily building a fanbase and honing their acts to the point where they’re capable of giving far higher profile bands a run for their money. They’ve probably got as far as they were going to get as independent artists, and signing with a label is what needed to happen if they were to get to the next level.
I’ve followed both bands from their very first gigs (The Uplands Tavern in Swansea, and The Town Hall in Lydney), and it’s exciting to see where they’re going to go next. While I don’t expect them to be headlining enormodomes just yet, being signed to a label will open a lot of doors, whether it be prestigious support slots or support for overseas tours.
While I’ve heard too many horror stories in the past of labels interfering in the creative process to the detriment of an artists long-term future, I’m confident this isn’t going to happen here. It’s not like either band is a bunch of fresh-faced innocents just out of The Brit School about to be chewed-up and spat out by the major label sausage machine. Given their artist roster (including prog veterans Hawkwind and Van der Graaf Generator), Esoteric Recordings don’t sound like that sort of label.
Does rather make a mockery of the ridiculous claim that Panic Room don’t want to “dirty their hands with commerce”, doesn’t it?