For over six years, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad's live show has defined the band. Touring relentlessly, the Rochester, NY-based group is sustained by its passion to reinterpret, explore, and expand its music night after night.
After the 2006 release of their debut album, "Slow Down," GPGDS hit the road and never looked back. In April 2012, they released their first electric studio album in six years, "In These Times." This is the quintet's second release on the California-based label Controlled Substance Sound Labs.
"In These Times" consists of 12 tracks that showcase Giant Panda's psychedelic reggae sound. Bassist James Searl, guitarist Dylan Savage, and guitarist Dan Keller trade off songwriting and lead vocal duties, with backup vocals provided by drummer Chris O'Brian, and multi-instrumentalist Aaron Lipp. The album was mixed by Atlanta-based producer Billy Hume (Nas, STS9, Ludacris, Josh Ritter), and dubbed by the band's long-time engineer Joel Scanlon.
"In These Times" explores a variety of emotions and themes, from the feel good, sing along vibe of "Change You," to the political anthem "Pockets." Guests on the album include Hawaii's The Green, contributing backup vocals on "All Night Music," and John Brown's Body's horn section on "Next Best Explosion," and "Healing." "I think it would be fair to say that this is the album that long-time Panda fans have been waiting for" says Chris O'Brian.
"In These Times" follows the bands' lyrically-driven roots Americana album, "Country" (released January 2012). Combining acoustic instrumentation including slide guitar, banjo, harmonica, upright piano, percussion, and bass, "Country" showcases songs as they were first created: on the road, riding in the van, and jamming backstage. "Like early Wilco, with a healthy powdering of the stuff that made Gram Parsons' music so deeply moving, "Country" is a gorgeous collection of Americana ditties." – The Buffalo News