I’ve lived- nay, suffered through many embarrassing haircuts and poor wardrobes. These appearance decisions were usually accompanied by an equally bad interest and taste in music. As described just a couple of days ago though, one band I’ve never regretted liking or listening to is Panic! at the Disco.
2007 is already over a half decade ago, but the music scene then was very different than it is now. I don’t know how else to explain that. I’ve written to some extent about that era of the Tooth & Nail roster, but I just can’t help but feel like there’s more to it than just the bands that are or aren’t around. Crowds, both in number and enthusiasm, are different as well.
Did we all just grow up? Is it really that simple?
One way or another, prior to A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out’s release in September 2005, demos made their rounds on the internet (but not YouTube, because it was still in its infant stage).
After the songs’ refinement by fire and eventual release in some kind of ashy, watered down (but polished) form, Panic! became the hit of the scene, on par with or exceeding the type of popularity Fall Out Boy enjoyed. The band was supposedly discovered by FOB basist Pete Wentz after Urie or Ross posted their demos on Wentz’ Livejournal.
If that doesn’t take you back, or at the very least give some type of perspective, nothing will. A lot of people were starting to spend a lot of time on the internet. Consider this was still well before any iPhone era.
Further listenings of Fever, including today’s, serve to bring me back to that time. The music was fun. Their shows were wild and theatrical and looked expensive. And regardless of what internet bullies Pitchfork thought about Fever, I’ll reiterate the ultimate point of this project: like what you want to like.
Lyrics are… verbose, and border on the immature. Mostly because they are. Former lyricist and guitar Ryan Ross was, like, 12 when he wrote them. Or 19. Same difference. It’s nigh impossible for a high schooler to write engaging, lasting and deep lyrics. But they suffice.
And man… much like Hellogoodbye, nice (and not-so-nice) ladies everywhere went bananas for Panic. Scene girls were cray for Urie and co. My appreciation for Panic centered on their unique approach to pop: dark, with overt Vaudeville influences; they were different.
In an era of so much sameness, copycats and clones, Panic was unique.
What other band used accordions and player pianos in the mid-2000s? Now, that idea is seemingly everywhere. Someone tell Mumford & Sons to turn it off/shut it down.
Standout tracks: “But It’s Better If You Do” and “Build God, Then We’ll Talk
Weakest track: Demo version of “Camisado” > album version of “Camisado”
RIYL: Pop, vaudeville. Fall Out Boy, Acceptance, The Academy Is…, Hellogoodbye.