Neck Deep – The Peace and The Panic
Release Date: 18th August 2017
Record Label: Hopeless Records
2017 has been a crazy year for the music industry with so many bands releasing new and exciting records. Neck Deep have had an incredible year, with the release of their brand new album, going to many signings and going on their biggest headline UK tour to date, as well as this the band took to the States for the penultimate full run of Warped Tour. With the sound that every pop punk band aspires to have and the love for their fans, it’s no surprise that Neck Deep are as big as they are.
The Peace and The Panic have been Neck Deep‘s most successful album to date, bringing in a horde of new fans and allowing them to play venues such as London’s Brixton Academy. Opening with Motion Sickness the record flings the listener into this wonderful pop punk adventure, with driving drum rhythms and a wide array of power chords there is nothing within this song that doesn’t make you want to mosh in your room. Ben Barlow then comes in with a strong vocal line and backing vocals and a catchy chorus line which shows that this album is going to be brilliant. Motion Sickness was also one of the first singles off of the new album which shows a clear favouritism within the band.
Happy Judgement Day follows on with the pop punk vigour and is a personal favourite of mine. Opening with a strong guitar riff which is accompanied by clapping and then a strong string of power chords this song opens with a bang. You can hear the energy that the band put into their songs by just listening to it, with another catchy chorus there is no way that you wouldn’t be reciting the words to this song subconsciously. The lyrics also contain strong messages about how we live modern life and if that isn’t a good reason why this album is amazing I don’t know what is. The bridge contains a wide use of syncopatic beats and then returns with the strong riff we all know and love including a key change, is there anything this song doesn’t have?
The Grand Delusion contains very similar themes to a lot of Neck Deep‘s older stuff and brings a welcome sense of nostalgia to the new album. Containing a good guitar riff, bass line and Ben’s stylistic vocals this song has ND written all over it. Track four Parachute is the bands newest single and a fan favourite, with a slighlty slower feel to it at the start and with less instruments it surely feels like a sentimental song. However, when the chorus breaks through it shows just how versatile Neck Deep are and it becomes a brilliant pop punk anthem. With extremely catchy lyrics and drum pulse this song is an extremely strong choice for a single.
In Bloom is probably one of the most famous songs off of the new album, and it’s easy to see why; with a strong guitar riff, spoken “nuclear war” introduction and slow introduction it really allows the song to tell a story. The vocal line within the verses has thin instrument backing which allows us to focus on the lyrics and then when the chorus comes in it’s like a welcome into the movement that is the pop punk genre. Once again Neck Deep create a catchy chorus which fans can scream back to them with ease and adoration, having not really followed ND’s new singles (I like albums to be a surprise when eventually released) I found that I had to listen to In Bloom due to all the critical acalaim and after doing so I had it on repeat for a solid two hours. Don’t Wait ft Sam Carter from Architects is certainly another fan favourite as both bands are up and coming and extremely popular within the alternative community. Containing elements of the metalcore genre and with a different vibe to the rest of the songs in the record this one is certainly a show of the talent of the Neck Deep boys. Ben and Sam’s vocals mix so well together especially in Sam’s ‘screemo’ section with Ben singing over the top, it gives the entire song a whole different air and it is certainly welcomed.
Critical Mistake sounds very similar to the likes of All Time Low and Waterparks. It shows Neck Deep branching into the other sounds of pop punk and it suits them incredibly well, with another nostalgic feel of their previous albums and a cheery sound this is certainly a reccommended song. Wish You Were Here is the slow song of the album and allows a nice break from the high pop punk energy. With sad lyrics and sadness shown well within Barlow’s vocals this song is perfect for him, even hearing it makes you feel like you’ve been in this situation. With a soft chordal accompaniment and use of piano this ballad like song fits Neck Deep‘s new aesthetic incredibly well.
Heavy Lies brings back the pop punk vigour and energy that is carried throughout the album, with chordal accompaniment, a catchy chorus, a strong drum beat and bass line this is another classic. With a broken down bridge it really emphasises the anger and desperation within this song, Heavy Lies is one of those songs that would and has been played live with great ease and feedback from fans. 19 Seventy Something is another fan favourite with the listener being flung straight in with the vocals opening the song, this song brings back nostalgia from a summer many years ago, maybe even before you were born, with a piano accompaniment and light guitar riff this song has an incredibly “easy breezy” vibe to it which is welcome as it is the penultimate song. Around 30 seconds before the song ends the entire band comes in with the build up within the bridge and then into the coda with an entirely new vibe which makes this song so brilliant.
The final track on the album Where do We go When we Go is my own personal favourite, containing everything that is great about pop punk, the driving drums, vocals and guitar riffs, there is nothing that isn’t brilliant about this track. With the catchy pre chorus of “rain rain go away” it draws from aspects of childhood rhymes which often have a much darker meaning. This song is particularly effective in talking about issues of modern society, it’s also a banger of a track and a perfect one to end the record (and their shows) with.
With that classic pop punk sound suiting them so perfectly Neck Deep are certainly one to watch for the future. They’re a band that could easily sell out a venue such as the 02 arena in London. With a variety of songs and massive group of fans these guys are really going to go far.
Favourite Tracks: Where Do We Go When We Go and Happy Judgement Day
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