Neckscars – Don’t Panic LP (Engineer Records / Sell The Heart Records)

A brand new batch from Engineer Records arrived recently at our headquarters, so there’s no better way to celebrate this occasion than with a proper review. This group is not a stranger to these pages, and I had a chance to post a couple of news posts about their singles and upcoming album, which seen the light of the day nearly two months ago. I could easily admit that Don’t Panic by Neckscars is right up my alley. The entire album sounds superb from scratch to finish, and this Downstate, NY quartet demonstrates how melodic punk rock should sound nowadays. However, as is usually the case, the group showcases more impressive moves along the way, so this material is much more than a simplistic melodic punk rock album.

Don’t Panic consists of ten thoughtfully assembled punk rock tunes. Neckscars balance somewhere between sheer aggression and melodies all the way through, but you may stumble upon even calmer moments where the group showcases more indie rock maneuvers. There are also segments where you can notice how post-hardcore sound affected their songwriting, but these segments are minor comparing to other elements involved throughout the entire album. The group continuously sails in melodic punk rock waters with smaller chunks of nineties Midwest emo hidden beneath the layers of aggression. There are plenty of ingredients involved within these ten numbers, and each one of these songs carries a slightly different vibe. Still, the entire album sounds compact, well-balanced, and it is vividly hearable how much attention the guys in Neckscars paid while writing, composing, and producing this material.

The group solely relies upon carefully arranged guitar dualities that are defining their sound. You have powerful, aggressive, dynamic riffs on one side, while the other side bursts with catchy melodies, harmonies, themes, solos, and other sonic delicacies. The bass guitar comes somewhere beneath the layers of distortion, but you can recognize all the low-end tones delivered by this crucial instrument. The profoundly dynamic drumming performance keeps everything in line and accentuates the orchestrations of other musicians when necessary. Last but not least comes the lead vocalist, who delivers subtly distorted chants and decorates these impressive tunes even more. If you’re looking out for a more precise examination of their music, you could easily compare their sound to the renowned groups, such as Hot Water Music, Ship Of Thieves, The Draft, Red City Radio, The Flatliners, and many other similar groups. Still, Neckscars possess something special that keeps their music fresh and unique. You should check out their full-length. Head over to Engineer Records or Sell The Heart Records for more information about ordering.

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