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Panic Derision 

by Carey Murphy & r & & r & & lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & "I & lt;/span & 'm very bad at being a perfectionist," says Colton Holliday, lead singer and guitarist of the Panic Division. "Once something is great, I'm happy that I did it, and then a week later, I'm like, 'OK, I've got better [stuff], there's new stuff to be done.' I'm happy with everything we've done. I just want to move on ... I want to change."

So even though Versus, the debut CD by the Panic Division, has only been out since November and the group is in the thick of touring, many of Holliday's thoughts have already turned to the future. He spent a good deal of time discussing how the sound of the band will be changing, spurred by the recent return of drummer Carlos Herrera.

Herrera left the group before the recording of Versus, and was replaced by James Castillo. But Holliday says that with Herrera -- who's been in bands with Holliday since high school -- back in the Panic Division, the band feels whole again.

"Me and Carlos Herrera, we started the band [Carbon 12 Theory], in high school," Holliday says. "Then by the time we started the Panic Division, we'd written a whole bunch of songs and we were just about ready to record the whole album, but Carlos had a change of mind. He was listening to a lot of different stuff than we were listening to, we got into a quarrel over what we wanted to do."

Holliday wanted a more distinctive sound, and the first steps in that direction emerge on the Herrera-less Versus. And while Holliday is quick to say the group has not yet achieved the kind of unique sound he's chasing, Versus suggests that Holliday and his bandmates -- Herrera, guitarist Daniel Stanush, bassist Tavis Wilson and keyboardist/electronics whiz Khary Alexander -- are on the right path.

While the band's music is still decidedly guitar rock/pop, "Delta" and "Little Child" might actually hint at the future of the Panic Division sound. "There's going to be a lot more electronics, there's going to be a lot more drum loops," Holliday says. "I really like the style of having electronic drum loops running and [Herrera] playing over them with his drum set. It really helps the beat a lot.

"I want the electronic loops to be the main thing, the crowning kind of sound," he says. "I think they sound much cooler than a guitar. You can do so many more different sounds with electronics than you can with a guitar ... Plenty of people have written awesome guitar riffs. But [not] a lot of bands have experimented with these kinds of electronics."

A dibious claim, but one made with the Panic Division's patented conviction.

The Panic Division at Fat Tuesday's with Aphasia, the Transit War, Cyrus Fell Down and Eliza Rose on Sunday, April 23, at 7 pm. Tickets tba. Call 489-3969.
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