Neck Deep is hardly punk rock at all, hell they’re not even really pop-punk in the traditional sense. They’re in fact 100% USDA GRADE-A phony boloney, plastic banana, fake news, Romper Room, Sesame Street garbage – just camouflaged with skateboards, spin kicks, a bunch of middle fingers thrown up in the air, and roller coasters… ya’ know, for the kids.
Neck Deep’s latest effort, The Peace and the Panic, is slickly produced. It’s compressed, auto-tuned, and sound-replaced all to hell, so there’s nothing all that real, gritty, raw, or in-your-face about it, but don’t tell that to the novice listener, the neo-pop-punk kid that knows a lot of stuff, man. Make no mistake about it, this is a loud and fast record, but loud in a sonic sense doesn’t necessarily translate to hard and heavy. The Backstreet Boys were an extremely loud band, too. Speaking of the Backstreet Boys, Neck Deep’s lead singer looks a lot like Nick Carter, but with some kind of weird skin pigment disorder.
“In Bloom,” not a Nirvana cover, the single off The Peace and the Panic, sounds nothing like the other songs on the record. It sounds more like a 1990s post-grunge, quasi-radio-friendly tune in the vein of an in-focus, but not as good Blink 182 or Everclear B-side from that era. This is probably the best track on the record ’cause it drops the stereotypical neo-pop-punk trappings and baggage, but sadly it’s still not that catchy and the sound is at least 20 years too dated.
If I had to sum up Neck Deep in one word it would be overrated. If I had to sum up The Peace and the Panic in a few simple words they would be: Radio Disney for fans of Universal Theme Parks. Beyond that, there is some hope here, there is some hope for the future of punk rock. May the crumbs of punk music and these jabronis playing here lead you down a road to better and more real punk music. I pray for a day when people wake up and realize that punk rock isn’t about skateboard kick-flips, basketball jerseys, amusement parks, farting in a sound booth, and pizza. Punk rock used to mean something. Even pop-punk used to mean a lot more than all this Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle bullshit.
The Peace and the Panic