The Secretly Canadian Newsletter

The Panoply Academy Legionnaires — the latest incarnation of the Panoply Academy — presents a new full-length album, NO DEAD TIME. In the Panoply Academy’s trademark fashion, stability and recklessness go hand in hand in an uncompromising lyrical & musical examination of both sides of the complicated man vs. machine coin. The tension between the two is most apparent, and with a fine balance of careful deliberation and willy nilly abandon, the 21st century man/machine symbiosis is explored carefully. What else could come from a band which harbors not only the deepest of curiosities for, but also an inherent mistrust of the codependency of the modern man and its machines. Even the lines between man and machine begin to blur, as the definition of the latter drifts off to encompass more than just the metallic human-made object, but bleeds into the fleshly arena as our sentient bodies are discovered to bear their own machine-like qualities. The recording process of NO DEAD TIME acts as a testament to the Panoply Academy’s assertion that man and machine seem bound by a mutual necessity for one another. Recorded at three different locations throughout the last half of 2000, the process was equally as disjointed as the product. Original tracking began on a horse farm in Southern Indiana, with additional tracking done in a small shoebox-sized Chicago apartment, and finally the overdubbing and mixing was brought back to their hometown of Bloomington, Indiana, and completed at the home of engineer Dan Burton (of Early Day Miners and Ativin). Tied together through soundscapes, NO DEAD TIME intentionally leaves very little room for pause or reflection. And when the rare silence slips in, it only intensifies the drama that plays forth. Pinpointing the Panoply Academy sound has provided difficult recreation for many since their early days in 1996. Having been most consistently compared to the post-punk greats (Pere Ubu, Public Image Ltd., and Gang of Four) and the Washington D.C. art-rock revivalists (Nation of Ulysses, Fugazi and Smart Went Crazy), it seems to us at this juncture that due homage ought to be paid to their under-appreciated Hoosier art rock forefathers who grew up drinking the same PCB-infected Southern Indiana water and rocked the same Bloomington basements and late-afternoon public library shows that the Panoply Academy now enjoys. Bands like MX-80 Sound, Dow Jones & The Industrials, the Gizmos and Dancing Cigarettes, seem to cast ghostly shadows across their music, though how much of a conscious influence they’ve been on the Panoply Academy may be hard to ascertain.