Wrexham, UK based pop-punkers Neck Deep are back with their brand new studio album The Peace and The Panic. The follow up to 2015's "Life's Not Out To Get You" signifies a bold step forward for the band, and a newfound maturity that should resonate strongly with their fans. It's their willingness to step outside their comfort zone and try new things that makes this album such a masterpiece.
The album starts out with "Motion Sickness", a straightforward, no frills pop-punk anthem with the explosive vocals of Ben Barlow, who is able to add a sunny disposition to this song that will put a guaranteed smile on everyone who comes in contact with it. "Happy Judgement Day" is another banger of a track with tightly wound guitar licks from Matt West and Sam Bowden who contribute a great deal to the album's sonic progression that is markedly different from their 2 prior studio albums. "Parachute" is my favorite track off the album that shows why people love this band so much. It has more of a downtempo style, but does a great job of accentuating Ben's vocals to bring everyone together and create a state of harmony and musical joy where everyone comes to a common ground musically of how this band has affected so many people in a positive light. "In Bloom" is an aurally stunning track that features some downtempo elements mixed in from the prior track, and you immediately begin to tear up at how beautiful it is and how it cuts right to the heartstrings, making this band one of the crown jewels of the United Kingdom.
The second half of the album begins with "Critical Mistake", a tune that has differing tempos to cater to the musical needs of everyone around with a great drum beat from Dani Washington to add to the musical culture surrounding this track. "Wish You Were Here" is a downright beautiful acoustic number where the band reveals their true inner beauty and ability to affect the listener in a deeply positive way that makes love the band as much as they love their spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, or significant other. The album begins to wrap with "19 Seventy Sumthin'", an upbeat sing along jam that really brings everyone together to marvel in the majesty of what we just heard, and allows us to really enjoy the waning moments of the disc with a magical moment enjoyed with our fellow listeners. "Where Do We Go When We Go" closes out the disc with a reflective number that tells us to enjoy life while we're young and in the moment, and not to get too mired in the past with any unfinished emotional business that will just make life a waste. This album really spoke volumes to me about how truly creative and emotionally affecting Neck Deep are, and the way they're able to speak directly to the youth of today that are facing so many obstacles in front of them. Neck Deep have truly blossomed into a full fledged pop-punk powerhouse, and this album represents the crowning achievement and hallmark of their career thus far.
Overall, a truly astounding and exemplary effort from Neck Deep, who have reached the pinnacle of their career with this truly diverse record that represents the band's full musical resolve, and their creative partnership that has really formed into a family.
Pre-order the album coming out this Fri. 8/18 right here.
1. Motion Sickness
2. Happy Judgement Day
3. The Grand Delusion
5. In Bloom
6. Don't Wait (f/ Sam Carter)
7. Critical Mistake
8. Wish You Were Here
9. Heavy Lies
10. 19 Seventy Sumthin'
11. Where Do We Go When We Go