Neck Deep has never been a band I’ve never been particularly super into. I realize they’re arguably one of the bigger, if not the biggest, of the current crop of pop punk bands that hit their stride in the last 5 or so years, but their brand of pop punk just never really struck a chord. For my money I always went for the Wonder Years.
With Neck Deep’s latest release The Peace and the Panic, I’m still not super excited about them but I can start to see why they’ve been as successful as they have been. Three albums into their career and Neck Deep are starting to perfect that Green Day brand of pop punk; radio friendly, sing along jams that are still fast paced and keep the punk edge. It’s no wonder this album is doing as well as it is on the Billboard charts.
Tracks like “Happy Judgement Day” and “In Bloom” are tailor made for rock radio airplay. Maybe these guys found their self an exceptionally good producer who could rein them in and hone their writing into some poppy gold, because they were never this radio-friendly on their past two albums. I almost think this could be the album that catapults them out of the Vans Warped Tour scene and onto a much bigger stage. Maybe not arenas, but definitely to a bigger platform than their peers they came up in the scene with.
The Peace and the Panic isn’t a bad album by any means; it’s competently written and these guys can definitely play. It just doesn’t hit me the way it seems to hit other people, and that’s fine. I might not be moved powerfully by this release but I can still appreciate it for what it is. That said, unless you’re already a pop punk fan I wouldn’t recommend this album. If your only taste of pop punk has been Green Day and Blink 182 then you may enjoy this album as well, but it’s not a very entry-level album for the genre.
I give the Peace and the Panic a 3/5.
Check out lead single “In Bloom” here