It’s been an absolute roller coaster of a ride for Neck Deep in the past five years. The Wrexham boys have ascended from local band obscurity to pop-punk royalty, and acquired one of the most dedicated fan bases in the scene. With the band’s second album ‘Life’s Not Out To Get You’ gaining so much critical and commercial success, the pressure to record and not only match, but succeed it with album number three must’ve been huge, and you’d be forgiven for thinking that this album might not live up to the hype. However, you can forget that, because ‘The Peace And The Panic’ is nothing short of huge.
Opener ‘Motion Sickness’ is one of the more typical Neck Deep tracks on the record. It’s fun pop-punk filled with the band’s trademark hooks and punchy choruses. Vocalist Ben Barlow‘s accent seems to be a lot more Americanised than before, but weirdly enough it sounds better than ever.
Following number ‘Happy Judgement Day’ was a released as a pre-release teaser, and quickly became a fan favourite. The key change is bloody fantastic. Maybe it would’ve made more sense for this to be the opening up the album instead, but honestly, that would only be something you’d pick up on if you were actively trying to find things to be critical on.
From this point onwards is where the album absolutely shines. The melodic anthems of ‘Parachutes’ and recent single ‘In Bloom’ show a side to Neck Deep that we have rarely seen thus far in their still fresh careers. These tracks are absolute anthems, and it’s hard to not visualise them in arenas all around the country and beyond. They pull on the heart strings, and make you want to sing at the top of your lungs.
’19 Seventy Sumthin” is another example of the band branching out into some more radio-friendly territory and nailing it. It sounds like an even more radio-friendly All Time Low. Give this mainstream radio play and it could become the band’s biggest and most well-known song to date, so expect this to be a forthcoming single just waiting in the ranks.
Honestly, I could a write a paragraph about every single track on this album, and that’s rare. That’s without even touching on Sam Carter‘s (Architects vocalist) intense cameo appearance or the great production value that blooms across the entirety of the record, because we’d be here for days.
Neck Deep have truly expanded themselves from a local pop-punk band to mainstream radio giants. The amazing thing is that they’ve managed to do that without taking too much away from what brought them to where they are in the first place. ‘The Peace And The Panic’ is an absolute triumph of a record, and one that is without doubt a crowning jewel amongst the pop-punk elite of 2017.
Written by Jacob Eynon (@itsjustjake93)
Founder & Editor for DEAD PRESS! | Atheist and antitheist. | Judge of the quick & the dead since 1989. | Aspiring freelance pizza eater.