It’s been two years since the pop-punk Wales based boys have given the world new music. And just like with their previous LP, Life’s Not Out To Get You, Neck Deep have continued to deliver the confusion of “No, this is my favourite Neck Deep album,” and “No, no, THIS is my favourite Neck Deep album.” Over and over again, these Welsh boys have continued to produce lyrics that has every fan finger-pointing as they scream back the lyrics that are tattooed upon them. Just as well, Neck Deep continues to produce the right amount of angst within their guitar hooks and drum kicks, allowing a mosh pit to breakout anytime; whether it be in a fan’s bedroom or in the venue down the road.
Back in May of this year, the band dropped their first single and music video, “Where Do We Go When We Go”. The track opens with a classic nursery rhyme “Rain, Rain Go Away.” Except, the band took it to “Pain, pain go away. Come back another day.” With each album release, Neck Deep seems to follow the theme of applying their lyrics to the title of their album. Lyrics from their 2015 LP release, Life’s Not Out To Get You, frontman and lead vocals, Ben Barlow, sang lyrics about living life and “moving mountains, that [he] once had to climb.” With The Peace and The Panic, Barlow’s lyrics follow the panic, and the musicians follow the peace.
There is a comfortable familiarity within the instrumental structure of the new album. Bassist Fil Thorpe Evans and drummer Dani Washington have magically, once again, pieced together beats that immediately have any faithful or virgin Neck Deep listener bobbing their heads with the verses and have them up on their feet during the choruses. Guitarists Matt West and Sam Bowden have formed incredible hooks and melodies that immediately pull a crowd in closer together to get a taste of the energy they riff off. Instrumentally, The Peace and The Panic represents Neck Deep in the most dignified manner: pure, blessed pop punk.
Upon first listen, there’s a sense of development and maturity within the music. As a devoted Neck Deep listener, the first change to take notice is Barlow’s new found vocal control. Previously, the lead singer’s vocals were considered to be more rough towards the punk side of pop punk. Now, Barlow seems to have taken a control of vocals to where he can still sound punk, but he can also sing smoothly along the pop side. During the track “In Bloom,” Barlow can be heard experimenting with highs and lows. Upon the sixth track of the album, “Don’t Wait (ft. Sam Carter),” West and Bowden have demonstrated a beautiful bond of their guitar riffs and melodies, drawing in any listener to headbang along. After five years of playing together, West, Evans, Washington, and Bowden (since 2015) have never sounded tighter together.
And of course, what is a Neck Deep record without an acoustic song? In 2012, we were all gifted with “A Part Of Me” with the lovely Laura Whiteside. In 2015, we were granted the beautiful track, “December” (Plus, another version in 2016 with the beloved Mark Hoppus of Blink-182). This year of 2017, Neck Deep has presented us with “Wish You Were Here.” This one is… Well, simply: sad. Sadder than “A Part Of Me” and “December” playing together when your playlist is put on shuffle. Yeah, be sure to have a box of tissues ready people.
|Neck Deep- The Peace and The Panic|
Without fail, Neck Deep has delivered through to the world once again. The Peace and The Panic represents who these five Welsh musicians are to a T. Throughout the album, highs and lows are sung about, including the passing of Barlow’s father (2016). Despite life’s hardships and growing pains, Neck Deep shows how to be okay through it all. “Don’t stop now, though the motion sickness has you spinning out, ‘cause you’re on your way…”
Pre-order The Peace and The Panic today!
Catch Neck Deep on their headlining North American tour come January 2018! Tickets on sale NOW at: https://www.ndsoundcheckclub.
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