Conceived in Brooklyn, NY, during September 2000, the Panthers is a five-piece who each has history playing in illustrious groups. Jayson Green, Geoff Garlock, and Jeff Salane are ex-members of the hardcore outfit Orchid; Kip Uhlhorn played in the Red Scare; and Justin Chearno has credits on Unrest's Isabel Bishop album and continues to play in the instrumental Turing Machine. Drawing from their past efforts, the Panthers combine punk aesthetics and political beliefs, much like Discord's visceral Nation of Ulysses did during the late '80s and early '90s. Their lyrics are both rhetorical, inflammatory, and subversive.
Their Are You Down?? album, which was released on Troubleman Unlimited in January 2002, references avant-garde art movements, including Fluxus, and recognizes people such as Jean Genet and Carol Queen, who have been on the forefront of advocating alternative sexual lifestyles. Added to this equation is the Panthers' sweaty live show, complete with tambourine shaking, handclaps, and danceable rhythms. They've shared the stage with other New York acts: Black Dice, the Rapture, Liars, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs. In spring 2002, they embarked on a West Coast tour with labelmates Erase Errata. The Panthers released a couple more albums over the next few years: Things Are Strange emerged in 2004, and The Trick followed in 2007. It was during this time that the politically charged punk of the band's early days morphed into a kind of arena-tinged indie rock similar to the kind wielded by bands like Wolfmother and Sword. ~ Lisa LeeKing