Neck Deep have always been a band we’ve looked up to. Our musical tastes and interests have diversified and varied over the years, and there are bands that we were in love with that we don’t necessarily throw into the playlist nowadays.
Neck Deep, however, is not one of those bands.
Whilst maintaining the sense of nostalgic wonder that compelled us all to fall in love with them and the wider pop punk genre in the first place, they have managed to further push the boat out and break down some of the constructs that you need to ‘tick off’ in order to be a #truep0ppunk band, and in doing so have created a diverse yet cohesive collection of music that takes shape in the form of their third album: The Peace & The Panic.
TRACK001 - ‘MOTION SICKNESS’
The boys explode into the record with their opening track – a modern take on the high energy pop punk crafted over the years by the likes of Blink-182, New Found Glory and Good Charlotte. The dynamic musicianship and use of layers throughout the progression of the song showcases the band’s understanding of their sound and how to stretch it to it’s full potential. Lyrically the song boasts of how negativity and cynicism are around us constantly, but coupled with the highly positive instrumental and small bites of encouragement from Ben – “you’re on your way” – it makes you feel like you can take on the world.
“In a world of negativity and defeatism, songs like this give you the power and energy to get up and out into the world and make do something positive” – Possum
TRACK002 - ‘HAPPY JUDGEMENT DAY’
Sitting it at track #2, the first single of the new album cycle jumps into a sonic half time head bop, with an infectious guitar lead sitting on the top making you want to play the song again directly after listening. This was our first sight in seeing how the lyrical concepts out of the Neck Deep camp have become more complex and mature as they have progressed as a band.
“They’re presenting complex world/personal issues in a way that is palatable by younger listeners. They don’t owe their fans that, but it’s amazing to see that it was important enough to them to do so” – George
Dripping in satire, the band almost feels as like they’re playing a joke on the world that you’re in on. Their music never ceases to make whoever is listening feel included, like they are a part of something bigger.
TRACK003 - ‘THE GRAND DELUSION’
Wasting no time, The Grand Delusion slams into a tight syncopation of riffing guitars and booming drums, giving energy and invigoration to whatever situation you would find yourself in at the time of listening (for us, we were all sitting on a couch).
“Neck Deep are back! This is a fucking tune!” – Harry
It’s an instant classic. You already know you’re going to find yourself on a rooftop at 3am some time in the future howling these lyrics at the moon like an emo werewolf.
TRACK004 - ‘PARACHUTE’
Cooling their heels a bit, a dynamic break in the wall of sound showcases the boys earnest and more sincere side. Choosing an unconventional chord progression showed their creativity, considering so much of the pop punk genre is the same four chords just expressed in a different way.
TRACK005 - ‘IN BLOOM’
This track completely blew us away. The development of instrument layers across the length of the song is second to none, and the vocals and lyrics, both concept/delivery wise, is one of Ben’s finest moments in Neck Deep so far (in our opinion). We all agreed this was our favourite song off the record. It shined a light on a really exciting future for the band.
“It takes me to sitting in the back of a car – headphones in; looking out the window” – Harry
(We had a chat to Fil from Neck Deep about In Bloom earlier this week- check out what he had to say about it HERE).
TRACK006 - ‘DON’T WAIT’ (FEAT. SAM CARTER OF ARCHITECTS)
Truthfully, this took us a little by surprise. A hybrid of alt-rock and hardcore, it’s one for the fans of heavier music who might not be able to stomach the happy, go-lucky vibe that pop punk often brings. The new vocal dynamic provided a fresh perspective for us to hear the band in, through which we even noticed a shakespeare reference – “The whole world’s a stage” – However, the song is still Neck Deep through and through and didn’t stray too far from the sound that all brought us here in the first place.
TRACK007 - ‘CRITICAL MISTAKE’
A memorable groove, riffy guitars and a cheeky expression coming through the vocal, Critical Mistake is exactly what you expected it to be without realising you expected it: a classic, positive pop punk song that any fan of the genre will love. To be honest with you, there’s really not much more to say about it than that. A great song to start your day and get a spring in that step.
TRACK008 - ‘WISH YOU WERE HERE’
Highly personal, perfectly sad and thought provoking, this low-fi number about loss and grief is one that will tug on the heartstrings for sure. It’s incredible to see the honesty and uncut nature that the boys write in, which can’t be said for all the artists on the scene. We’re not going to say too much more about it and you can take from it what you will, but this was another favourite from the album, even if it was hard to listen too.
TRACK009 - ‘HEAVY LIES’
Picking up the energy after a lapse in the distorted guitars and massive drums, this track is an octave filled groove-oriented dream. The killer rhythm drives the song throughout it’s duration, with no point coming where you wish it would end. It’s like a good Bruce Willis movie, action packed from start to finish.
“It was great to hear the endearing touches of the British accent come through in the chorus” – Possum
TRACK010 - ‘19 SEVENTY SOMETHIN’
Nearing towards the close, another nostalgic number shows Ben giving a nod to his parents, acknowledging the positive effect his Dad had on him, and how him and his Mum are going to be there for each other through the tough times ahead. Relatable and touching, we’re all fans.
TRACK011 - ‘WHERE DO WE GO WHEN WE GO’
In true Neck Deep fashion, the boys rounded off the album with a playful and fun song that was released as one of their first singles from the album. With gang vocal chants and an attitude that says we’re all in this together, it was the perfect ending to their incredible third record.
Neck Deep’s The Peace & The Panic is available everywhere now. You can buy it HERE, or listen on Spotify below:
Openside is one of the most exciting bands coming through the scene right now. Their brand new single I Feel Nothing is out right now, and you can listen to it HERE.
If you need any extra proof that they’re the real deal though, they’ve also opened for Twenty One Pilots, Ellie Goulding, Melanie Martinez and most recently All Time Low. You can watch a behind the scenes video of their experience opening for All Time Low below:
BACKSTAGE VLOG TIME: Don't Bore Us went behind the scenes of All Time Low's show in New Zealand to support our favs Openside
Posted by Don't Bore Us on Wednesday, August 16, 2017