Neck Deep’s latest offering showcases maturity and progression without compromising on the sound they’ve carved for themselves.
Despite being on a fast track to becoming one of pop punks saviours, the members of Wrexham’s Neck Deep have had a tumultuous few years. In addition to the passing of vocalist Ben Barlow’s father, founding guitarist Lloyd Roberts left the band after being subject to allegations of sexual misconduct, so it’s unsurprising to hear The Peace and The Panic sound like a far more introspective, matured record than their predecessors.
'Motion Sickness' kicks the album off with a bang immediately showcasing Barlow's off-kilter and underdog vocals laced over bouncy riffs. ‘Happy Judgement Day’ exudes bright vivacious hooks, but lyrically treads a darker path. If there’s one thing the Wrexham boys know how to do, it's write a hook.
“Is it just me or does anyone else feel like this could be farewell?"
Despite being adept at writing summery pop punk anthems, there’s a downbeat thoroughfare finding its way between tracks on The Peace And The Panic that’s dealing with a large amount of grief, loss and change which Barlow manages to make sound self-inflicted without coming across as whiny, exclaiming “I’d rather be anyone else but me” during ‘The Grand Delusion’.
Between the sprightly tracks, the group manage to mix it up a little. ‘Wish You Were Here’ though, unfortunately not a Pink Floyd cover, acts as a mournful, acoustic number and the penultimate ’19 Seventy Sumthin’’ is a heartbreaking ballad in memory to Barlow’s late father that still maintains its signature catchiness.
Neck Deep aim for a far more mature release with The Peace and The Panic, and while it may not quite reach the heights of greatness that their sophomore did, they’ve still crafted a substantial collection of pop punk bangers that is sure to please fans.
Dre’s Top Three:
- Happy Judgement Day
- In Bloom
- 19 Seventy Sumthin’
You can pick up your copy of The Peace And The Panic on CD or Vinyl here.