Neckscars - Don't Panic (Cover Artwork)


Don't Panic (2021)


New York’s Neckscars stand prominent with ten gritty melodic bangers in their debut Don’t Panic.

The LP smashes open with “In Front Of Me,” a mid-tempo retrospective and immediate showcase of vocalist/guitarist Will Romeo’s unique delivery, his filthy dirt gravel carries the release, while maintaining great pitch and melodic characteristics. The bridge is especially enticing, as the melancholy piece rips into heavier riffs and group vocals.

“Born Sick” and “Jarring” pick up the energy and mood significantly, bringing in tings of classic alternative rock influence in chord progression and structural choices. “Unfinished” opens with a killer introduction, dueling leads from guitarist Justin Parish and bassist Colin Harte. The song almost charts slow jam territory and slowly builds into an anthem, all under the direction of Romeo’s gruff storytelling.

“Not Enough JPM’s” is a fantastic moment on the record, pairing Millencolin grade guitar chords with quick hi-hats from drummer Craig Salsa. “Temporary” opens with a pitted punk rock riff, and stays at eleven for the entire three minutes of tough vocals. “Loaded” welcomes a pick up note and a unique energy that hasn’t graced the record yet, with brilliant emoting by Romeo. “Running Man” blends eerie leads with the as-usual heavy hitting drums and guitars, with a particularly catchy pre-chorus and chorus.

“Let You Down” opens with good-grunge Nada Surf level chord expertise and more great personal reflection, while “First Time, Long Time” is an incredible choice for the album closer, bringing in guest vocalist Jon Snodgrass for a ripper of Flatliners or Hot Water Music quality.

Don’t Panic trophies Will Romeo’s ability to take the vocal timbre of Tim Armstrong or Dicky Barrett, but also his talent to take that dial back or forth, when needed, for a complete production of empathy, protecting his three band mates from, “Meh I don’t like their singer” categories. God damn, these guys write great music together and I’m looking forward to more. Be sure to check this out.