By Francesco Albanese
*Cue flashback* it's around the year 2000 and high school is just a drag. Teachers, significant others, and papers galore. You're walking home and you decide to pop in one of your favorite records into that sweet portable CD player you always carry around. What comes through the headphones? Probably Blink-182's Enema of the State or maybe New Found Glory's self-titled record (or if you're feeling particularly cheeky maybe NSYNC's No Strings Attached.)
Now picture yourself there, and imagine Neck Deep's The Peace and the Panic; you'd be hard pressed to imagine that it simply doesn't belong. Well friends, that's the beauty that is Neck Deep's third album; a meld of the classic pop-punk genre with modern elements of what the genre has to offer for today's audiences.
Looking on the album as a whole, the title isn't just the title here, but serves as provided functionality on to how to listen to the album track by track. There's a clear divide in tones between tracks on the record. One track will fill you with emotion and glee, while the next will exude manic and chaotic tantrums of moshing delight. For example, track five, "In Bloom" captures joy similar to jumping around in a colorful bouncy castle, while the preceding track, "Don't Wait" is the punk anthem that will have you breaking down the walls of the establishment in the traditional punk fashion, which is fueled by the screams of The Architect's Sam Carter assisting in the demolition of said establishment.
Now with The Peace and the Panic comes many different thoughts someone would have every day; messages to loved ones, significant others and family members, on tracks like "Wish You Were Here" and "Where Do We Go When We Go." Messages of tearing down the establishment and warnings to be careful not to believe everything you hear ("Happy Judgement Day," "Don't Wait") make this record something accessible to audiences old and new, and audiences of different genres; making this a refreshing reminder that "pop-punk's not dead."
This sentiment is especially evident in the opening track "Motion Sickness" where the musicianship of each band member piles into the front seat and drives. Vocalist Ben Barlow continuously impresses with his voice that embodies the genre; guitarists Matt West and Sam Bowden show off their skills in every track, which can usually get lost when it comes to the kind of sound, which is also where Bassist Fil Thorpe-Evans shines, proving that there can be complex bass tracks in pop-punk. Then last but not least, the drums provided by Dani Washington, are nothing short of professional, evident in the many opportunities he took in each fill.
From the sounds of nostalgic bliss of years gone past, to modern sentiments embedded in each song, this record delivers. In their own fashion, the band keeps the pioneers of the genre in reverence, but offers a modern hint of personal flair that makes them stand out today.
The Peace and the Panic is out August 18th and can be pre-ordered by visiting the link here and tickets for their upcoming The Peace and the Panic USA Tour kicking off in early 2018 can be purchased here.
By Haley Biermann
The Melvins did not disappoint at their show at The Paradise Rock Club in Boston, Massachusetts. The rock band took the stage on August 2, and drew in a large and diverse crowd. Concert-goers trickled in within minutes of the doors opening, and less than half an hour later, the floor space and the upper level surrounding the stage were filled with eager fans of the three-piece group. With the band’s formation being in 1983, it’s not surprising there was a bit of an age range, but even those of the younger generation were pumped to see the Melvins tear it up live.
Opening for The Melvins was Spotlights, a metal duo from Brooklyn, New York. The married couple offered a laidback yet psychedelic feel created through drawn out guitar chords. Interspersed throughout the drones were more melodic guitar riffs and intense vocals from Mario Quintero. Mario Quintero’s voice made for a cool contrast to Sarah Quintero’s, which was light and airy in comparison. Overall it was a great way to start a show- an impressive sound without attempting to steal the spotlight (no pun intended).
The Melvins were greeted with an energy that one can’t doubt made them feel right at home. Lead vocalist and guitarist Buzz Osborne rocked his famous wild hairdo that almost looked as though it had a mind of its own. The band opened with “Sacrifice.” They achieved a killer hard metal sound, but with a significant amount of tour experience, make it appear effortless. While Osbourne seemed to drift around the stage with an intense seriousness, bassist Jared Warren looked ready to explode along with the booming tones his guitar produced. He often crouched low to the ground for fans to see his fingers fly across the strings.
Along with some of their hits including “It’s Shoved” and “Opinions Make the Milk Taste Bad,” the Melvins also performed some pretty awesome covers. They offered fans a hard metal version of the Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” and David Bowe’s “Saviour Machine.” The sound usually did not break between songs, as a drone continued straight into the next track on the set list. Rather than becoming monotonous, the fluidity made the concert similar to a theatrical performance. The Melvins seemed to say that the music would only stop when they felt like it, creating an awesome “we do whatever we want and have a great time doing it” vibe. With incredible guitar solos, on point vocals, and nonstop energy, the audience certainly wasn’t complaining, and neither were we.
By Vicky Branca
Blue Hills Bank Pavilion in the seaport of Boston, MA was the place to be Sunday night (8/6) as The All American Rejects, Dashboard Confessional, and The Maine were in town.
Despite having a quick, 7 song set, The Maine pulled in quite a crowd and die hard fans radiated excitement when the AZ natives crossed the stage.
Even while battling a fever, lead singer John O'Callaghan charmed the crowd and sang cult favorite songs like Am I Pretty, even pulling up a fan named Michaela to help him sing Girls Do What They Want. Without a flaw. While the set was short, The Maine captivated the crowd and created a fun, passionate start to the night.
The All American Rejects created a nostalgic buzz as people rushed to their seats and made sure to snap videos of iconic songs such as "Gives You Hell" "Swing Swing" "Move Along" and more.
Dressed in a blue, 70s era pantsuit, Tyson Ritter held an interesting stage presence and the set brought fans of all ages together.
And of course, Dashboard Confessional wooed the venue with their heartbreaking yet relatable lyrics. The legendary band pulled in quite the crowd and fans sang along with gusto.
Overall, the weather was warm yet breezy and the music was loud and inviting. It was the perfect summer concert.
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